Human Rights and the Will to be free
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Human Rights and the Will to be free
Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
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al-Khawaja-Nobel.pdf http://www.freedom-now.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/al-Khawaja-Nobel.pdf

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Spencer Haskins's comment, February 6, 2013 8:04 PM
Well, It's about time! Don't forget their right hand man, Nabeel Rajab!
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Bahraini activist’s triumphant return

Bahraini activist’s triumphant return | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Amid a groundswell of support for the Al-Khawaja family to win the Nobel Prize, daughter Maryam ends her exile
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Press Release: Maryam Al-Khawaja to visit Bahrain tomorrow | Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Press Release: Maryam Al-Khawaja to visit Bahrain tomorrow | Bahrain Center for Human Rights | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

10 Jan 2013

The Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights; and Deputy Director for the Gulf Center for Human Rights,Maryam Al-Khawaja, has decided to travel to Bahrain tomorrow Friday, 11 January 2013.

The primary purpose of Maryam Al-Khawaja’s trip to Bahrain will be to visit her father and uncle in prison as well as to see family members. Additionally, she will be observing the human rights situation on the ground as her colleagues Nabeel Rajab and Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah remain in prison.

She arrives in Bahrain at 8pm Bahrain time on Friday and will be staying there for approximately two weeks. Al-Khawaja will be traveling with her Danish passport, getting a visa at the Bahraini airport, due to the expiration of her Bahraini passport.

Maryam Al-Khawaja had previously chosen to remain in self imposed exile for safety and security reasons due to the necessity of being abroad for her work and for safety and security reasons. While the same security and safety concerns are still valid, Al-Khawaja found it necessary to conduct this trip for the reasons mentioned above.

Maryam Al-Khawaja should be reachable on email and her Danish number, and will return to her work in Denmark on the 26th of January 2013.

Spencer Haskins's insight:

I pray for your safety!  MashAllah!

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Spencer Haskins's comment, January 10, 2013 7:28 PM
I am concerned for her safety! The regime targets the intelligentsia and leadership! I pray Allah guards your every moment and that the AlKhalifa terrorists are kept at bay.
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Behind the Bahraini Revolution: An Interview with Maryam Al-Khawaja

Behind the Bahraini Revolution: An Interview with Maryam Al-Khawaja | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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Whenever you want to know the human rights situation of any country, ask where their human rights defenders are. In Bahrain, all of the most prominent human rights defenders sit in prison cells today. The human rights situation has been deteriorating continuously since the beginning of the Bahraini Revolution on 14 February 2011. There are currently up to one hundred extrajudicial killings, and approximately one thousand eight hundred political prisoners, a significant amount of which are children under eighteen. At the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), we continue to document cases of excessive force against protesters, arbitrary arrests, lethal use of tear gas, kidnappings, and systematic torture (physical, psychological, and sexual). The protests have continued on a daily basis since 14 February 2011.

One of the main problems for why the country has not moved forward in regard to stopping human rights violations is the culture of impunity that exists within the country, in addition to the existence of international immunity for Bahrain. The culture of impunity enforced by the regime and the king is the reason why nothing has changed. As Bahraini activists, we were hoping that the regime would take the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) as an opportunity to take a step in the right direction and implement real reforms. Instead, the regime used this five hundred-page report as a tool to buy itself time while it continues to commit the same violations. In some cases, the violations got worse. Additionally, during this period, Western countries continued to sell arms to the Bahraini government and business continued as usual. The people who were responsible for the massive widespread human rights violations in high positions were kept in their position or even promoted.....

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Bahrain Opinion: "A Regime Trampling Human Rights" --- Detained Zainab AlKhawaja in The New York Times

Bahrain Opinion: "A Regime Trampling Human Rights" --- Detained Zainab AlKhawaja in The New York Times | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

....

But despite all these sacrifices, the struggle for freedom and democracy in Bahrain seems hopeless because Bahrain’s rulers have powerful allies, including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

For Bahrainis, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the Saudis and the Americans. Both are supporting the Khalifa regime to preserve their own interests, even if the cost is the lives and rights of the people of Bahrain.

The United States speaks about supporting human rights and democracy, but while the Saudis send troops to aid the Khalifa government, America is sending arms. The United States is doing itself a huge disservice by displaying such an obvious double standard toward human rights violations in the Middle East. Washington condemns the violence of the Syrian government but turns a blind eye to blatant human rights abuses committed by its ally Bahrain.

This double standard is costing America its credibility across the region; and the message being understood is that if you are an ally of America, then you can get away with abusing human rights.

If the United States is serious about protecting human rights in the Arab world, it should halt all arms sales to Bahrain, bring Bahrain’s abuses to the attention of the United Nations Security Council, support a special session on Bahrain at the United Nations Human Rights Council, and begin a conversation about potential diplomatic and economic sanctions. The Obama administration should also demand that high-level Bahraini officials be held accountable for human rights abuses, and that nongovernmental organizations, United Nations human rights investigators and journalists be allowed to enter the country and investigate abuses.....

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BBC Hardtalk Maryam Al Khawaja double standards towards human rights in Bahrain

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Things Are Still Going Terribly in Bahrain | VICE

Things Are Still Going Terribly in Bahrain | VICE | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

One year later and only three of those recommendations have been carried out, according to a report from the Project on Middle East Democracy. Just last month, Bahrain completely banned protesting, and a few weeks ago 31 people connected to the opposition had their citizenships revoked. To find out more about this mostly ignored crisis, I spoke with Maryam al-Khawaja, the acting president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the daughter of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, the cofounder of the organization who was sentenced to life in prison by a military court in June 2011. ...

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Conversation with Bahraini Human Rights Defender Maryam al-Khawaja - Stockholm - PART 1

I had the privilege to meet Bahraini Human Rights defender, Maryam al-Khawaja for the third time but this time she was in Stockholm to receive The Stieg Lars...

 

see also:  http://is.gd/1R6OMP

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Beneath Bahrain's Shia-versus-Sunni narrative, only the tyrants benefit

Beneath Bahrain's Shia-versus-Sunni narrative, only the tyrants benefit | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

....When you pick up the day's newspaper, it is not likely that you will find much coverage of the ongoing popular revolt in Bahrain. But on the off chance that Bahrain is mentioned, it is almost certain that two words will jump at you: Sunni and Shia. It is even more likely you will see some mention of a Shia revolt against a Sunni monarchy.

This is unfortunate; a very complicated situation is expediently packaged into a soundbite-like myth. That narrative is ahistorical and dangerous because, like all myths, there is a grain of truth to it.

Last year, when Bahrain's revolution began, it was not about sects. Sunnis, Shia along with Bahrain's "sushis" (people of mixed background), non-Muslims, atheists; all came together in Bahrain's version of Tahrir – Pearl Square. Their unifying demand was for a constitutional monarchy to be established in Bahrain. The people were demanding that the king honour his lofty reform promises made when he inherited the position from his Emir father......

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Maryam AlKhawaja's letter to UNESCO

Maryam AlKhawaja's letter to UNESCO | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Dear Organizers of the UNESCO conference

I hope this finds you well. I wanted to first thank you for choosing my father,
Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, as one of the human rights defenders whom you honor for his
peaceful human rights work. I also would like to point out here that I am writing this
letter in my personal capacity and not representing any organization or center.

I was honored when I received a letter from UNESCO asking me to participate in a
conference to speak about how my father had dedicated his entire life to fighting for
human rights and social justice, as he so had done. He started his work in the field
when he was merely a teenager, and today is serving life in prison at the age of 52
for his work. He is a firm believer in the struggle for human rights no matter what
the cost may be, and thus endured a 110-day hunger strike to shed light on the human
rights situation in Bahrain. He has dedicated his life to working on many issues,
whether it was migrant workers rights, women rights, rights of the unemployed, those
in dire need of adequate housing, political prisoners, and the list goes on. He served
internationally, working as the regional protection coordinator for the Middle East
and North Africa Region for Front Line Defenders, training and working with human
rights defenders from the Western Sahara to Saudi Arabia and beyond. My father
was also involved in the fact-finding mission in Iraq in 2002 organized by Amnesty
International to look into the atrocities of mass graves. I cannot do my father’s human
rights work justice in this short letter, and so I will not attempt to.

I am writing to you today because it has come to my attention that you have made
a decision to honor Shimon Peres alongside my father at your event. Whilst I am
honored that you chose my father, I am also utterly disappointed that you would
honor him alongside a person who has been responsible for many human rights
violations and should be put on trial, not honored. This decision comes as a surprise
as UNESCO usually has good stances on human rights issues without bias.

My father always says that when it comes to human right, there is no grey area, you
both stand for human rights everywhere and against perpetrators of human rights
violations or you do not. I believe that allowing myself to accept honoring my father’s
work alongside a person responsible for human rights violations is an insult to his
beliefs and what he stands for. I have included at the bottom of my letter a list of
violations that Shimon Peres is responsible for as well as a list of past appeals made
against him.

Without any disrespect intended to your esteemed organization, and the important
work you do around the world, as a human rights defender I must respectfully
withdraw from this event as I cannot allow myself to take part in legitimizing a person
who should be tried for human rights violations, not honored. Please accept my
apologies for the late withdrawal and any inconvenience it may cause.

Best regards,

Maryam Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja

 

[see also:  http://is.gd/ctHYSk ]

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Bahrain rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja pulls out of UNESCO ceremony over honor to Israel's Peres

Bahrain rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja pulls out of UNESCO ceremony over honor to Israel's Peres | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

....“My father always says that when it comes to human rights, there is no grey area, you both stand for human rights everywhere and against perpetrators of human rights violations or you do not,” Al-Khawaja wrote.

“Without any disrespect intended to your esteemed organization, and the important work you do around the world, as a human rights defender I must respectfully withdraw from this event as I cannot allow myself to take part in legitimizing a person who should be tried for human rights violations, not honored,” Al-Khawaja concluded.

Al-Khawaja attached a list of the human rights violations and war crimes in which Peres is directly implicated, including the 1996 “Operation Grapes of Wrath” invasion of Lebanon while Peres was prime minister. Among the most notorious incidents during that attack, which caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, was the Israeli shelling of the UN base at Qana killing more than 100 refugees and UN peacekeepers.

UN and international investigations contradicted Israeli claims that the shelling had been an accident and concluded it had been deliberate.

Peres is also renowned as the “father” of Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, and having held almost every state office in Israel is directly responsible for many policies including colonization of Palestinian land in the occupied territories.

In a 2008 call on the University of Oxford not to honor Peres, PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, stated, “Peres is implicated in the myriad crimes and international law infringements committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory.” ..

 

[see also:  http://is.gd/A4dFNM ; ]..

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Prominent Bahrain activist , Zainab AlKhawaja, jailed for 2 months!

Prominent Bahrain activist , Zainab AlKhawaja, jailed for 2 months! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
A pro-democracy activist in Bahrain is sentenced to two months in prison for ripping up a picture of the king, her lawyers say.
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Maryam Alkhawaja: Human Rights and Democracy for Bahrain

Maryam Alkhawaja: Human Rights and Democracy for Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
The fact that people broke the barrier of fear, that they took to the streets despite all risks, is the actual victory.
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Bahrain: Continuous harassment and targeting of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's family members

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its grave concern about the constant targeting and harassment of families of human rights defenders and victims of extrajudicial killings. The latest case was the summoning of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's son-in-law, Hussain Ahmed(22 years old), to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Hussain Ahmed, a former torture victim, received a summon for interrogation on Sunday 13th January 2013. Hussain Ahmed went with lawyer Abdullah Zainuddein to the CID on Monday 14th Jan 2013. Ahmed was taken into office 99 around 12pm, and interrogated by someone referred to as "Abu Faisal". The lawyer was not allowed into the room during the interrogation.
During the interrogation, "Abu Faisal" threatened Hussain Ahmed that they are monitoring him. He reportedly told Ahmed:

"This time we brought you in a respectful manner, next time you know how we can bring you in. If you go into hiding we'll find you. Instead of the 6 months you spent in prison, this time you will spend 6 years."

Hussain Ahmed was interrogated about his work as a graphic designer, and told that they know that he designs graphics about victims of extrajudicial killings. The fact that he is the son-in-law of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja was brought up in during the interrogation. The interrogator also made several sectarian insults. "Abu Faisal" reportedly told Hussain Ahmed:

"This time I'm being good to you, but I want you to know that when I put on my black mask they call me the beast. When I deal with you next time I will have you screaming torturer, torturer".

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Bahrain activist, Maryam AlKhawaja, risks arrest.....

Bahrain activist, Maryam AlKhawaja, risks arrest..... | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

A leading Bahraini human rights activist has returned to Bahrain to see her jailed father.

Maryam al-Khawaja, the daughter of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, flew into the capital Manama on Friday night.

She risks arrest under the country's strict laws governing criticism of the king on social media sites.

Her father was convicted last year in military court of plotting to overthrow the government and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ms al-Khawaja, who has a Danish passport, has campaigned tirelessly outside the country on behalf of her father and against the government of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

The gulf island kingdom has been wracked by more nearly two years of anti-government protests that have left more than 60 people dead.

International human rights organisations have protested vigorously over Abdulhadi al-Khawaja's conviction and that of 19 others who were sentenced to varying terms up to life imprisonment.

They were convicted of the attempt to forcefully overthrow the government, violations of the constitution and legal code, and ties to foreign terrorist organisations.

But lawyers acting for the convicted men told the BBC that confessions were obtained under torture, a charge that was confirmed in November 2011 by an independent tribunal appointed by the king....

Spencer Haskins's insight:

  Reminds me of Daniel Chapters 3 and 6.....  The righteous sent into the fiery furnace and/or lion's Den!  I pray for her protection and deliverance from evil!

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Bahrain: Silenced Spring

Bahrain: Silenced Spring | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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The Bahraini government “believes they have international immunity,” says Maryam al-Khawaja, acting head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, “and they’re right.” Bahrain’s sensitive geographic location, just across the Persian Gulf from Iran, has meant that King al-Khalifa and his family have enjoyed a cozy relationship with the United States in recent years, exchanging cheap weapons for a Bahraini base for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet. Ideological and material support from its Saudi neighbors have provided the Bahraini king an extra measure of protection against criticism from Western governments, which can’t function without a steady stream of cheap Saudi crude. “Saudi oil,” al-Khawaja says, “is more valuable [to the West] than Bahraini lives.” Until world leaders make human rights a priority over their stakes in the global marketplace, we can expect more grim news from the Gulf. That is, if we get any at all.

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Stalemate in Bahrain

Stalemate in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
When large-scale protests for reform and democracy began in Bahrain nearly two years ago, the government clamped down with the help of troops from Saudi Arabia and neighboring Gulf states.
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Bahraini rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja jailed - IFEX

Bahraini rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja jailed - IFEX | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

(BCHR/IFEX) - 17 December 2012 - The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) express grave concern over the ongoing judicial harassment against human rights activist Zainab Al-Khawaja. 

On 9 December 2012, Al-Khawaja was arrested after staging a one-person protest outside the intensive care unit at Salmaniya hospital, demanding visitation rights for an injured citizen. The security forces prevented his family from visiting him at the hospital. Al-Khawaja was held overnight and taken to the public prosecution office the next day. She was accused of "inciting hatred against the regime, through chanting political slogans" and was given a seven-day detention order. 

Al-Khawaja reportedly chanted, "We are all the hero Aqeel" [the name of the injured citizen]. The family members of the injured man were allowed to visit him briefly after the protest. 

On 13 December, before the end of her detention period, she was taken to the public prosecution where her detention period was extended for another 10 days, until 27 December. Her lawyer said that his request for Al-Khawaja to be released on bail was rejected. He described her arrest as unfounded and having no justification whatsoever. ....

 

The GCHR and BCHR believes that charges against Al-Khawaja are politically motivated, and that she is targeted merely for practicing her human rights work and the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and assembly.

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Bahrain court sentences activist Zainab al-Khawaja to one month in jail

Bahrain court sentences activist Zainab al-Khawaja to one month in jail | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...Al-Khawaja, who tweets at @angryarabiya, has faced more than one dozen charges this year alone for “speaking out about human rights violations in Bahrain, where dozens of people have been killed since pro-democracy protests began in February 2011,” ABNA news agency reported.

Activists in Bahrain tell Bikyamasr.com that the scheduling of the verdict comes as no surprise.

“We have long fought against the ongoing violations of the police and this government, so for them to laugh at international human rights is not surprising,” said W-------, a 22-year-old university student, speaking via telephone. ....

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Stand with Zainab Al-Khawaja | #Bahrain

Stand with Zainab Al-Khawaja  |  #Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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TAKE ACTION: Send a tweet to the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Bahrain demanding respect for human rights, and freedom for citizens like Zainab Al-Khawaja to protest.....

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Conversation with Bahraini Human Rights Defender Maryam al-Khawaja - Stockholm - PART 2

I had the privilege to meet Bahraini Human Rights defender, Maryam al-Khawaja for the third time but this time she was in Stockholm to receive The Stieg Larsson Prize 2012 for her struggle against oppression in Bahrain and her continuous work in highlighting the ongoing violations against Human Rights in Bahrain.

The Stieg Larsson Prize foundation run a conversation with Maryam al-Khawaja yesterday right after she received the award. This is my recording to the talk. ...

 

see also:  http://is.gd/9Sumlz

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Maryam Alkhawaja on Irish radio talking about protests ban in Bahrain

Maryam Alkhawaja on Irish radio talking about protests ban in Bahrain RTE Radio 1 Oct 30th 2012...
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Al-Khawaja to receive Politiken's Freedom Prize | The Copenhagen Post | The Danish News in English

Al-Khawaja to receive Politiken's Freedom Prize | The Copenhagen Post | The Danish News in English | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The daughter of the imprisoned Danish-Bahraini human rights activist, who has also been awarded for her activism, will accept the award on his behalf next week

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja together with his daughter Maryam. Both will be awarded this year for their role promoting human rights (Photo: Scanpix)
The Danish-Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja will be awarded this year’s Politikens Frihedspris (Freedom Prize).

Al-Khawaja is currently serving a lifetime sentence in Bahrain after being arrested in April 2011 for his activism to promote greater political and individual freedoms in his native country. ...

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Break the Siege of Al Aker, Bahrain! #AlekerGenocide

Break the Siege of Al Aker, Bahrain!   #AlekerGenocide | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

#Bahrain: Human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja gestures as policewomen approach her during her march towards al-Eker village in Sitra, south of Manama, October 21, 2012. Activists tried to break through police checkpoints around the village.

Wefaq, the main opposition group in Bahrain, said on Sunday that clashes had broken out near al-Eker, south of Manama, after some rights activists and medics tried to enter the village, which police has blocked off since Friday.

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WATCH: Daughter Of Torture Victim vs. Government Doctor Over Father's Torture

WATCH: Daughter Of Torture Victim vs. Government Doctor Over Father's Torture | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

In Bahrain, Doctors who treat unarmed civilians seeking their human rights, get prosecuted and imprisoned.  Doctors who perform regime tortures are allowed to practice medicine and recieve regime benefits!

 

Bahraini Government is a terror regime.....Why is America allied with terrorists?!

 

Marayam AlKhawaja is the daughter of BICI confirmed torture recipient, Abdulhadi AlKhawaja.

Maryam is a World renowned human rights advocate by her own credentials....

 

AlKhalifas are confirmed, documented and proven torturers and terrorists! 

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