Bahrain: Life imprisonments are a “hard blow to free expression”
22 Jun 2011

Eight Bahraini activists and opposition leaders have been jailed for life and over a thousand activists remain in detention, reports Maryam Alkhawaja whose father and uncle are among those convicted

News that eight Bahraini activists and opposition leaders have been jailed for life, and 13 others sentenced to between two and 15 years imprisonment, comes as a “hard blow to freedom of expression”, says human rights campaigner Maryam Alkhawaja, whose father and uncle were among the convicted activists.

Alkhawaja, who is based in the UK and head of the Foreign Relations Office at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, told Index on Censorship that it is important to remember that is not just 21 people affected, but over a thousand people who are also currently detained.

Alkhawaja has written to the UN with an “urgent appeal” to draw attention to the “constant and violent response” by the Bahraini government. A protest in the village of Karzakkan following the sentencing was violently dispersed by security forces, she said.

The government may be encouraging a violent response, Alkhawaja believes, which could be “used as an excuse to crack down on protesters”.

After Alkhawaja’s sister, Zainab Alkhawaja, shouted out “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”) in court she was removed from the room and forced to sign a pledge that she would not do it again, she reported.

The Bahrain Human Rights Center has published this list of sentenced activists and opposition leaders in the The Court of the National Safety:

Arrested defendants:

1-Abdulwahab Hussain Ali ( life sentence imprisonment)
2-Hassan Ali Mushaima.( life sentence imprisonment)
3-Mohammed Habib Al Safaf. ( Al Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
4-Ibrahim Sharif Abdulraheem Mossa ( 5 Years imprisonment)
5-Abduljalil Mansoor Makk. (Al Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
6-Abduljalil Abdullah Al Singace.( life sentence imprisonment)
7-Saeed Mirza Ahmed. (AlNouri) ( life sentence imprisonment)
8-Abdul Hadi Abdullah Mahdi Hassan (AlMukhodher) ( 15 years imprisonment)
9-Abdullah Isa Al Mahroos.( 15 years imprisonment)
10-Abdulhadi Al Khawaja ( life sentence imprisonment)
11-Salah Hubail Al Khawaj.( 5 years imprisonment)
12-Mohammed Hassan Jawad.( 15 years imprisonment)
13-Mohammed Ali Ismael. ( 15 years imprisonment))
14-Al Hurra Yousif Mohammed.( 2 Years imprisonment)

Defendants Sentenced in absentia:

15-Akeel Ahmed Al Mafoodh.( 15 years imprisonment)
16-Ali Hassan Abdullah.( Ali Abdulemam) ( 15 years imprisonment)
17-Abdulghani Ali Khanjar.( 15 years imprisonment)
18-Saeed Abdulnabi Shehab.( life sentence imprisonment)
19-Abdulraoof Al Shayeb.( 15 years imprisonment)
20-Abbas Al Omran.( 15 years imprisonment)
21-Ali Hassan Mushaima.( 15 years imprisonment)

Biographical information on the Bahrani activists sentences on 22 June provided by the Bahrain Center for H…

Maryam Alkhawaja is a human rights activist and Head of the Foreign Relations Office Bahrain Center for Human Rights

2 responses to “Bahrain: Life imprisonments are a “hard blow to free expression””

  1. […] While this blog focuses on developments in the UK, a number of global stories stood out this week, as a reminder of the plight of journalists and bloggers in other jurisdictions.  Twenty-one Bahraini activists, including writers, have been sentenced to harsh jail sentences – eight for life. More on Index on Censorship here and here. […]

  2. […] Bahrain: Life imprisonments are a “hard blow to free expression” June 22, 2011 […]