The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Regarding the detention at UNDP Bahrain of three non-violent Human Rights protesters

Your Excellency Firas Gharaibeh, Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP,

I am writing to express my concern and consternation at the way the peaceful and non-violent protest of three citizens seeking freedom for their loved ones in detention in Bahrain today was handled. I am speaking of Asma Darwish, Sawsam Jawad, and Zainab Alkhawaja. Ms. Alkhawaja’s father, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, is an internationally known human rights activist and is the former President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and is currently a member of the International Advisory Network in the Business and Human Rights Resource Center chaired by Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He was taken along with Ms. Alkhawaja’s husband and brother-in-law in a raid by masked men on the night of April 9. He was brutally beaten into unconsciousness in front of his family before being abducted.

When Ms. Alkhawaja and her companions attempted to stage a non-violent sit-in at your office today, you called the Bahrani authorities and turned them over to them. If they are detained, raped, tortured, or murdered, you will be morally and legally responsible.

I want you to know that the whole world is watching. The whole world is watching *you*, your Excellency.

I look forward to your prompt reply.


Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA, USA

UNDP Media Contacts
Women arrested in Hunger Strike in the UN Building – Manama
Bahrain arrests three women in UN sit-in, activist says
Three Bahraini women detained for ruckus in UN office
3 female activists arrested in Bahrain
Even in Custody, Bahrain Activists Use Twitter to Protest
Bahrain frees three women arrested for protesting at UN offices in Manama
Bahrain women arrested in sit-in released, says UN

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

15 June, 2011 - Posted by | Bahrain, blog, blogger, Firas Gharaibeh, free speech, freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, news, politics, protest, protesters, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Sausan Ghosheh to me

    show details 5:33 PM (25 minutes ago)

    As promised Henry, here is our statement:

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York has been advised that three women who conducted a peaceful protest at the organization’s offices in the capital Manama have been released by police and that charges will not be pressed..

    UNDP made urgent representation to Bahrain’s authorities to release the three women.

    UNDP has launched a formal investigation into how the incident at its office was handled.

    (Ms) Sausan Ghosheh
    External Communications Unit
    Tel.: (212) 906-5390

    Comment by scanlyze | 15 June, 2011 | Reply

  2. Letter to Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

    15th June 2011

    Dear Secretary-General,

    We are three Bahraini women, who have come to the UN office today to call for immediate action on the issue of political prisoners in Bahrain. Like hundreds of families, we have been suffering because of the government crackdown through mass arrests of innocent people inan attempt to silence the demands for democracy and human rights. Each one of us has members of our family in detention.

    Asma Darwish – Asma’s brother, photographer Mohammed Darwish, is in detention. She was allowed to visit him 2 days ago for the first time since his arrest. Mohammed told Asma that he was tortured and that he had been hospitalized for the past week. Asma is on hunger strike in protest of what has happened to her brother and countless other Bahrainis.

    Today marks the 12th day of her hunger strike.

    Sawsan Jawad – Sawsans father has been named Bahrain’s Nelson Mandela. He is 64 years old and is said to be the oldest political prisoner in Bahrain. Jawad is on military trial, and has spoken in court several times about the torture he is being subjected to. Jawads only crime is that he is an activist, who has been very vocal against arbitrary detention and torture,which he is now himself a victim of.

    Zainab Alkhawaja – Zainabs father, husband, brother-in-law and uncle are in detention. Her father, human rights activist, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, was tortured so severely it resulted in four facial fractures. Alkhawaja went through major surgery during his detention. Alkhawajais also now on military trial. Zainab doesn’t know where her husband is, and hasn’t been given any visitation rights since his arrest 2 months ago.

    Our cases are not unique, there are hundreds going through the same or even worse. The detention, torture and trials of innocent people has become common and systematic in Bahrain. Many are on unfair military trials with false charges, some as absurd as “spreading hatred against the regime.” The UN must not allow this to continue.

    We know that one of the UN’s main purposes is “(…)To promote and protect all Human Rights”. The hundreds of detainees in Bahraini prisons need protection now. It is too late to protect and save the four people who have already died in police custody, but we are hereto demand that something is done to save the rest.

    We are here to urge the UN to take action to ensure that: All political prisoners get released immediately, the false charges are dropped, and that allegations of torture are investigated and those responsible held accountable.


    Asma Darwish Sawsan Jawad Zainab Alkhawaja

    Comment by scanlyze | 15 June, 2011 | Reply

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