The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) stands in solidarity with Abdulhadi Al Khawaja and women human rights defenders in Bahrain as they demand democracy, government accountability and an end to the torture and detention of those demanding political change. Al Khawaja is a long opposition and human rights activist who has defended human rights of women for many years. He is in prison serving a life sentence imposed by a military court because of his peaceful anti-government protests and has been on a hunger strike for the past two and a half months.
This is the thought constantly running through my head.
As a human rights defender I have learned to numb my emotions and continue working. I have been working on covering human rights violations in Bahrain for more than two years now, documenting all the arbitrary arrests, systematic torture, rapes, kidnappings, extra-judicial killings; the list goes on.
"The power of women is in their stories. They are not theories, they are real lives that, thanks to social networks, we are able to share and exchange," said Egyptian-American activist Mona el-Tahawey, kicking off a summit that brought more than a hundred of the Middle East's leading female activists together in Cairo.
The enormous role of women in the uprisings in the MENA region is undisputed. They faced verbal and physical abuse, violence, arrest and death just as their male counterparts. The transformation of these countries has been groundbreaking, and their participation is as important as ever. After the dust of the battle settles, will Arab societies remember to include women in the rebuilding of their countries?
For the past 2 1/2 months, Bahrain's government has cracked down brutally on opposition figures who led massive anti-government protests in February and March. Doctors, journalists, human rights workers and even elected officials have been detained and beaten. The government's most recent targets are women.
“M. le président, je vous écris du Bahreïn, après avoir été victime d’une terrible injustice que je ne souhaiterais à personne d’autre au monde. Les forces de sécurité ont attaqué ma maison, enfoncé les portes à coups de massue et terrorisé ma famille. Sans aucun avertissement, sans aucun mandat d’arrêt et sans fournir aucune raison, des hommes armés et cagoulés ont attaqué mon père. Bien qu’ils n’aient rien dit, nous savons tous que le crime qui est reproché à mon père est d’être un militant des droits de l’homme”.
أصدرت المحكمة الصغرى الجنائية الخامسة برئاسة القاضي محمد سعيد العرادي وأمانة سر محمود عيسى اليوم (الخميس 3 مارس/ آذار 2011) حكمها في القضية المعروفة باسم (حفلة الجنس الثالث)، وقد قضت المحكمة بحبس 49 متهماً بين شهر و6 أشهر، وبرأت المحكمة اثنين من المتهمين.