Iraq: ANHRI Denounces the Attack on the Press; Offices and Journalists, and Denounces the Liquidation of the Opposition

Cairo April 4, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), strongly denounce the repeated attacks on the press on the background attacking the headquarters of 4 independent newspapers by the a group of armed men. The attack led to several injuries without knowing the reasons behind the attack. ANHRI expresses its severe resentment regarding the attack that resulted in the injuring of the editor-in-chief of “Sout El-Balad” newspaper. ANHRI denounces the murdering of the lawyer “Salah El-Abeedi” a candidate to the municipality elections.

A group of armed men, about 30 persons wearing a civil costume, attacked on April 1, 2013, targeted offices of independent newspapers; Dostor, Parliament, Future and Al-Nas in Baghdad. They stormed their offices after taking off the doors and wounded six of the staff and set the car of “Ali Dragy”, the editor-in-chief of the Future newspaper on fire. Moreover, they have stormed his office, destroyed its contents and its computers.

The elements of the Iraqi police assaulted the journalist “Ihab Ayoub El-Beldawy” the editor-in-chief of “Sout El-Balad” in the Governorate of Salahdin, by swearing at him and physically hurt him without justification. He was taken to the police center located in the city and was detained without legal justification.

In another context, unknown persons aimed live ammunition on the lawyer “Salah El-Abidie” and they killed him on Sunday March 24, 2013. He is the candidate of the National Unionist Iraqi Coalition candidate in the governorate’ councils in “Sidiyah district” in Baghdad while he was working in his office.

It is worthy to be mentioned that he is among 12 candidates to run for the local elections that were to be held on March 20, 2013 and they were liquidated in the recent days.

ANHRI said that “the repeated attacks on the press is a serious violation to the right to access, obtain and disseminate the information freely. It comes in the frame of harassing the oppositions and seek toward silencing their voices, which is a clear violation to the basic human rights in particular, the right to expression and obtain information safely and freely.

ANHRI added that “the miserable attempts of the unknown armed men to liquidate the opposition is a swearing at the face of the regime that supposedly seek toward democracy and promote the political freedoms in the country”.

ANHRI draw the attention to the non-legality of the arbitrary arrest that was conducted against the Iraqi journalist “El-Beldawy”, particularly as, the lack of any specific charges pressed on him or the lack of any legal justification behind his arrest”.

ANHRI demands an immediate investigation in the attacks on the four offices and the immediate release of the detained journalist. ANHRI demands drafting strong legislation to protect the opposition and candidates from the assassination attempts and liquidation that threaten their lives.

Also available in : العربية

Bahrain: ANHRI Demands from the Authorities to Deal with the Prisoners of Opinion and the Human Rights Activists in its Prisoners as Prisoners of Opinion

Cairo April 2, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the use of the excessive force by the security forces in addressing the attendees of the funeral of the father of a detainee. ANHRI expresses its extreme annoyance as the authorities prevented the ambassador of Denmark from visiting the human rights activist “Abdulhady El-Khawjah”.

Bahraini security forces have used the excessive force to address who attended the funeral of “Abdulghany El-Rees”, 66 years old, who died in front of “El-Badie’” police center while he was trying to visit his detained son, who was arrested on Sunday March 31, 2013, on the background of participating in one of the continued demonstrations and the peaceful protest that took place in Bahrain. “El-Rees” was prevented from visiting his son, in addition to, the news spread on the social networks which stated that he was fainted after he heard his son screams and shout as a result of torture in the prison.

The security forces used tear gas bombs to disperse who attended the funeral which resulted in several suffocations among the attendees.

In another context and in persistence in the series of violations against the detainees and the activists, the ministry of interior, cancelled the visit of the Danish ambassador in Bahrain, who requested to allow him to visit to the prominent human rights activist “Abdulhady El-Khawajah” – holder of Danish passport. He is on a hunger strike in the prison of “Dry Dock” as a result of banning the family visits from him as he refused to wear the costumes of the prisoners and it is also the same reason that the Danish ambassador was prevented from visiting him.

It is worthy to be mentioned that there is an approved visit of the ambassador in every month to meet “El-Khawajah” in his prison, after he have began hunger strike along with the hunger strike of his daughter Zainb on March 17, 2013. So after the deterioration of his health; the Danish ambassador requested to see him urgently as it was agreed between the ambassador and the Bahraini side to make the date of the visit earlier, to be on Sunday March 17, 2013, than the specified date of the visit but after the arriving of the ambassador from his place of residence in Riyadh, the prison’s administration told him that the visit was cancelled.

ANHRI said that “the persistence of the authorities to restrict the prisoners of opinion and human rights activists in addition to prevent visiting them repeatedly and for flimsy reasons, declare the desire of the regime to abuse the activists and the prisoners of opinion in addition to disregarding all human rights demands and calls to respect the freedom of expression”.

ANHRI added that “the persistence of the security forces to target the attendees of the martyrs’ funerals who were murdered by the Bahraini security forces whether directly or indirectly, establishes the impunity idea which is adopted by the authorities recently in the favor of the security personnel.

ANHRI demands from the authorities to deal with the intellectuals and activists in the prisons as prisoners of opinion not as criminal prisoners.

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Also available in : العربية


Djibouti: The Security Forces Assault the Demonstrators and Arrest Religious Scholars on Charges of Stirring the Sedition

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the engagement with the demonstrators by the security forces. The demonstrators have assembled to protest against the arrest of the opposition leaders and the the legislative elections results. ANHRI expresses its strong resentment regarding bringing some of the religious scholars before the court on charges of stirring the sedition and riots. On March 1, 2013, corespondent to Friday, witnessed violent clashes between the security forces and the young demonstrators from the members the union for the national salvation, who demonstrated against the arrest of the opposition and to object the results of the elections, which was held on February 22, 2013. The clashes resulted in severe problems as a result of the using of the excessive force against the demonstrators, in particularly, after the decision of the minister of interior to prohibit the demonstrations and marches.

In a related context, the court decided that Abdularhman Bashir, Abdulrahman God and Gheriah Medal, religious scholars who belong to the union, to appear before it on Sunday March 3, 2013, on charges of stirring the riots and seditions.

It is note worthy, that the religious scholars were arrested on Monday February 25, 2013, as the opposition organized demonstrations in the city of Djibouti, the capital, to protest against the results of the elections.

ANHRI said that “the assault on the demonstrators during the peaceful demonstrations and marches, is a serious violation to the right to freedom of expression and to basic freedom, which was established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and guaranteed by various international conventions and treaties”.

ANHRI added “targeting the young men and religious scholars, make the state responsible for violating the African charter for human rights, which was ratified by the state, which guarantee the freedom of expression”.

ANHRI said that the government is responsible for protecting the demonstrators and for the severe loses which resulted from the clashes on March 1, 2013. It also held the state responsible for arresting the opposition leaders without a justification and arbitrary arrest them.

ANHRI demands to open an investigation in the assault on the demonstrators by the security forces, and to rescind the decision of the minister of interior to ban the demonstrations and marches. ANHRI demands the immediate and the unconditioned release of the arrested opposition leaders and the religious scholars in addition to stop harassing the activists and intellectuals.

Also available in : العربية