Bahraini women’s rights activist Ghada Jamsheer was released from prison on 12 December on medical grounds. The court has ordered to serve the remaining four months of her combined 10 month sentence as a community service. She still faces trial in other cases.
On 12 December, Ghada Jamsheer, a human rights defender working on women’s rights, was released from Issa Town Detention Centre for Women, south of the capital Manama, following a successful appeal – on medical grounds – to serve the remaining four months of her current sentences as community service. Her health had deteriorated because of poor conditions of detention, which also heightened her risk of contracting infections due to her rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body. The authorities have yet to inform her about the nature of the community service or its start date.
Ghada Jamsheer has been on trial since 2014, including for 10 separate defamation cases all relating to postings on her Twitter account about alleged corruption at King Hamad University Hospital, on al-Muharraq island, north-east of Manama. On 22 June 2016, an appeal court upheld prison sentences, totalling 10 months, against her relating to four separate defamation cases, of which she had already served three months in pre-trial detention between September and December 2014. She was arrested on 15 August 2016 at Bahrain International Airport to serve the remainder of these sentences.
Ghada Jamsheer is also due before the Appeal Court on 22 December for another case in which she was sentenced to one month in prison for “insulting” a policewoman while in detention in 2014, a charge which she resolutely denies. Amnesty International believes this charge to be fabricated and, if she is detained again following this appeal hearing, she will be a prisoner of conscience.
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
Urging the Bahraini authorities to drop all charges and overturn any remaining sentences against Ghada Jamsheer that relate to the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of expression and association;
Urging them to repeal or amend all legislation that criminalizes the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and ensure that defamation is treated only as a matter of civil litigation.
Contact these two officials by 27 January, 2017:
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
Phone: 1 202 342 1111 I Fax: 1 202 362 2192
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
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 [email protected] with “UA 280/14” in the subject line or click this link.