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Help Release Prisoner of Conscience (Bahrain: UA 3/16)

Urgent Action
September 12, 2016
 
Bahraini activist Dr Sa’eed al-Samahiji had his one-year prison sentence upheld on appeal on 7 September. He had been convicted of charges including “insulting a brotherly state” and “calling for illegal demonstrations”. He is a prisoner of conscience.
 
Bahraini activist Dr Sa’eed Mothaher Habib al-Samahiji had his one-year prison sentence upheld by Branch Two of the Appeal Court in Manama, the capital, on 7 September. He had been convicted of charges including “insulting a brotherly state [Saudi Arabia]”, “publicly inciting to non-compliance with the laws and institutions in Bahrain” and “publicly calling for participation in unlicensed demonstrations and marches” on his Twitter account. During his trial he denied all the charges. He is currently held in Jaw Prison, about 30km south of Manama.

Dr Sa’eed al-Samahiji was arrested at his house on 3 January 2016 for disseminating information about the execution of prominent Saudi Shi’a cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and insulting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Twitter. His trial began on 31 January and was postponed several times. He went on hunger strike between 14 February and 31 March in protest at his treatment in Dry Dock Prison, which, he said, included being threatened and insulted by prison wardens for asking his family to bring him a book on first aid and being separated from his family by a glass barrier during visits. He was taken to the prison clinic shortly after he began his hunger strike, but refused to eat. During his hunger strike, his weight dropped by about 20kg. He was sentenced to one year in prison on 7 April and transferred to Jaw Prison on 10 April.

1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the authorities to quash Dr Sa’eed al-Samahiji’s conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling on them to ensure that he is protected from any torture or other ill-treatment and that he receives any medical attention he may require;
  • Urging them to repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, in line with Bahrain’s obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Contact these 2 officials by 24 October, 2016:
King
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa 
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama
Bahrain
Fax: +973 1766 4587
Salutation: Your Majesty

H.E. Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
3502 International Dr. NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 362 2192 I Email: ambsecretary@bahrainembassy.org
Salutation: Your Excellency
 
2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email uan@aiusa.org with “UA 3/16” in the subject line or click this link.
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
DOWNLOAD the full Urgent Action in PDF or Word format below
GET INSPIRED: Read about the people you have helped
READ TIPS for writing effective letters and emails
CONTACT US: uan@aiusa.org
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