....The EBOHR sees that the arrest of Zahra Al Shaikh and her being subject to torture as contravening her basic lawful right to peaceful expression of opinion. Her continued arrest is a blatant violation of human rights in Bahrain. The targeting of Zahra Al Shaikh this time is not unprecedented. A few months ago, she was been beaten and tortured by masked and civilian persons in the street after she recited in Jidhafs, north of the capital Manama, a poem of solidarity with political prisoners.
(Above are two pictures of Zahra Al Shaikh after her face was sprayed with pepper spray by Bahraini security forces on 7 April 2012.)
(The picture above show marks of beating on activist Zahra Al Shaikh committed by Bahraini security forces on 26 April 2012.)
The EBOHR expresses its deep concern over the physical and mental wellbeing of activist Zahra Al Shaikh as she is on her second day of her hunger strike and demands Zahra's immediate release without conditions from the Bahraini authorities.
The EBOHR demands that the Bahraini authorities:
Immediately release activist Zahra Al Shaikh without any conditions in addition to the release of other imprisoned human rights activists and activists seeking democratic reforms.
Immediately give Zahra Al Shaikh unrestricted access to contact her family and lawyers.
Take all appropriate measures to ensure the physical and mental safety of Zahra Al Shaikh while she is under arrest.
Guarantee the freedom of human rights activists and activists seeking democratic reforms to perform their lawful duties without being threatened with arrest and trials.
The EBOHR encourages the Bahraini authorities to abide by international proclamations of political freedoms and the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms . Notably:
A five section article which states: " For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (a) To meet or assemble peacefully "
Article 12 section two which states " The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration. "