Women in protest for equality

This appeared in today's Gulf Daily News :

Bahraini women, not MEN, are calling for their rights, for an end of injustice and abuse.
Read on....

"Women in protest for equality

WOMEN will gather outside the Justice Ministry today in a show of solidarity against discrimination.

They will also call for the dismissal of the General Prosecutor.

The demonstration is being organised by the Women Petition Committee in co-ordination with human rights and civil society groups. It starts at 10am

Committee president Ghada Jamsheer said that women were often discriminated against when their cases were dealt with by either the General Prosecution or Sharia courts.

"There are many women who have been affected because of this and many are living miserably because of these biased decisions," she said.

"We will also call for the removal of a Sharia judge, whose decisions have been always against women and has a long history in controversial decisions, which were in favour of men, rather than being fair."

Ms Jamsheer said that a petition would be signed and sent to His Majesty King Hamad with a list of wishes women hope to be granted.

They include the urgent establishment of the Personal Law (family law) and stop Sharia judges from issuing official marriage certificates at home.

They say these should be issued by a special office at the ministry, open 24-hours-a-day.

A communiqué will also be distributed at the event."

Quiz Down

Dear Supporters,

You may have noticed that the quiz has come an abrupt end. I can continue with it indefinitely but I know I will sound like a broken record. I am sorry I have been repetitive in certain instances but I hope you realise how frustrating it is to maintain a straight head and try and think logically, knowing that you are being abused and ignored every step of the way.

What worries me is that the more I press on Ahmed's case as being a human rights issue, the more he is victimised by his captors who continue to challenge human rights, dignity and decency - things which are born with people and cannot be attained by mercenaries !

The main question is: Why is Ahmed being denied justice?

You may have realised by now that Ahmed is not alone, so : Why are the people of Bahrain burying their heads in the sand and accepting all the atrocities being committed against them?

You may also have come to the conclusion that the post is being compiled by one or two people, that the number of hits is slowing down and there are virtually no comments at all.


The trials and turbulations of "other" Bahraini prisoners

This appeared in today's GDN:

Rights activist on New York mission

A BAHRAINI human rights activist is travelling to New York to meet with lawyers campaigning to free all detainees, held in Guantanamo Bay, including six Bahrainis.

The move follows a ruling by a US federal judge in a Washington court, giving detainees the right to challenge their imprisonment in court, with defence lawyers.

However, lawyers acting on behalf of the Bahraini detainees said there was still little chance of any detainees being freed soon by the courts.

The judge on Monday rejected a system of internal administrative hearings established last year by the Pentagon to review the cases of the 558 detainees, some of whom have been held for over three years.

US District Judge Joyce Hens Green said the detainees were entitled to greater protection under the US Constitution and the Geneva Convention.

She criticised the US government's definition of "enemy combatant" and found that the military's tribunal system did not meet the Constitution's standard for protecting the rights of the accused.

Nabil Rajab, who is member of the committee that acts on behalf of detainees from the Gulf and former president of the now dissolved Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, will be meeting lawyers on February 13.

"The meeting will discuss what will be the next step for the lawyers to take following the court's ruling," Mr Rajab told the GDN.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the Bahraini detainees said that they expected that the US government would attempt to appeal against Judge Green's order.

"However, if allowed to do so, it will regurgitate the same arguments that it has been making for over two years," attorney Joshua Colangelo-Bryan told the GDN.

He is among a group of lawyers from the New-York-based firm Dorsey and Whitney who are acting on behalf of the six Bahrainis, free of charge.

"The appeals process will be lengthy and these cases could end up in front of the Supreme Court all over again," he said.

"Because of this, there is still very little chance that any detainee will be ordered to be released by a court at any point in the foreseeable future."

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Bahraini detainees have maintained that the allegations do not justify holding them without charge.

They are disputing their classification as "enemy combatants" and say no evidence has been put forward to support the allegations.

"It is crucial for the Government of Bahrain to do everything it can to secure the release of its citizens, regardless of what goes on in this litigation," said Mr Colangelo-Bryan.

"The Bahraini Interior Ministry has already concluded that there is no evidence that any of our clients were engaged in terrorist activity."

He said that there was no reason why Bahrain should not undertake all possible efforts to bring its citizens home.

Mr Colangelo-Bryan said he was pleased in Judge Green's decision.

"As a legal matter, her conclusion that valid claims can be asserted by Guantanamo Bay detainees adheres closely to the decisions that were issued by the Supreme Court last summer, which opened US courts to the detainees," he said.

"As a moral and ethical matter, we believe it was hugely important for an American court to rule that our clients have rights as human beings, even if they are not US citizens and that detainees cannot be detained arbitrarily and indefinitely in horrific conditions."

The Supreme Court last year granted federal courts jurisdiction to hear detainees' cases.

The six Bahraini detainees held at the camp as "enemy com-

batants" are Juma Mohammed Al Dossary, Essa Al Murbati, Salah Abdul Rasool Al Blooshi, Adel Kamel Hajee, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Abdulla Majid Al Naimi.

The lawyers have been acting on their behalf as part of a global effort to provide free legal support to all Camp Delta prisoners.

They were allowed into Guantanamo Bay last October to meet their clients and have since been given access to classified information detailing the alleged reasons for their detention.

The Foreign Ministry also appointed a lawyer earlier last year to act for the six prisoners.