17 April 2009


One hundred and seventy-eight activists and human rights defenders released

A Welcome of the Release of 178 Activists in Bahrain
Demand to Guarantee non-repetition of State Violations

(BCHR/IFEX) - 12 April 2009 - The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) welcome the initiative of the Bahrain authorities to release 178 activists and human rights defenders, considering it a step in the right direction and hoping that none of the detainees had been excluded. The BCHR and the BYSHR congratulate the released citizens and their parents, and would like to thank everyone who participated, since December 2007 until now, in acting to release those detainees and especially:

- international and regional human rights organizations and figures,
- human rights organizations and the lawyers in Bahrain who volunteered their time and effort,
- political and religious figures,
- media persons, internet activists who breached the misinformation that the official and pro-government media carried out,
- activists in the grassroots movement that showed in various ways their peaceful protest and non-stop campaign whom the authorities confronted with further arrests, and exaggerated suppression methods, which led to worsening security situations and the occurrence of damages and injuries.

The joy for the release of the detainees should not let us forget the necessity of continuing to seek to achieve the demands that the national and international human rights bodies have filed, including:
- to reveal the truth behind what happened through an independent and impartial investigation in the circumstances and motives behind the arrest campaign and the truth behind the accusations and charges and to look into the complaints regarding torture;
- to pursue those responsible for the violations, whether bodies or individuals, and to remove them from their posts and present them before an independent court.
- reparations for victims, whether it is the detainees themselves, their parents, or whoever was affected.
- to take all necessary measures to guarantee the non-reoccurrence through:
- reforming the security services, prosecution and judiciary; including the dissolution of the National Security Apparatus,
- reforming the legislation by amending the terrorism law and the articles related to state security in the Penal Code and laws related to societies and gathering,
- activating institutions and mechanisms monitoring government,
- guaranteeing the independence and freedom of the audio and visual media in a way that prevents it from being used to support state violations and promotes its role in revealing truth and reality and,
- to have an initiative to resolve the roots of the crisis which caused all this tension, by launching a dialogue with the various actors of society.


Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Phone: +97 33 9633399
Fax: +97 31 7795170
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