Bahrain

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is a cross between a Bond villain and Pastor Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church. In his oil-rich lair, Bolkiah has devised an evil plot to kill all the gays. At least, that's what the Western press and U.S. LGBT groups are saying. Nine months ago, the Sultan promised to phase in a criminal code based on Syariah — Malay for Sharia, Islamic law. This week, Western gay activists decided that that means "outrageous anti-gay legislation." Enough said.

By MOHAMMED AL A'ALI ,  Posted on » Tuesday, March 04, 2014

BAHRAIN's top legal authority has recommended that husbands who force their wives to have sex should not be prosecuted.

It has also suggested husbands and guardians who "reasonably" discipline their wives and daughters should be above the law.

The Supreme Judicial Council made the recommendations to ensure new legislation on domestic disputes does not contradict Sharia (Islamic) principles.

This report from Bahrain Center for Human Rights covers the state of family law and its implications for women in Bahrain.  

UPDATE:

Zainab Al-Khawaja was released from prison on 16 February 2014. She still has many open cases against her, and is scheduled for her next court hearing on 19 February 2014.

The attached report was submitted by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights to the CEDAW (Convention for the Eliminatin of Discrimination Against Women) Committee.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization, registered with the Bahraini Ministry of Labor and Social Services since July 2002. Despite an order by the authorities in November 2004 to close it, the BCHR is still functioning after gaining wide internal and external support for its struggle to promote human rights in Bahrain. The co-founder and former President of the BCHR is Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison for charges related to freedom of speech. The current President is Nabeel Rajab, who is serving a two year prison sentence for his work as a human rights defender. The Acting President is Maryam Al-Khawaja.

Introduction

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) is a leading human rights organisation in Bahrain that monitors the human rights situation in the country and focuses on tackling discrimination and promoting universal human rights and democracy. In cooperation with Caram Asia and with the support of FIDH, BCHR submitted an alternative report to the Committee in 2008. This report focused on the situation of women migrant domestic workers in Bahrain. It was then decided to tackle specifically this issue as there were specific concerns on an issue which was at this time not specifically addressed. Since February 2011, the violent repression against the protest movement in Bahrain led to human rights violations that affected, and even specifically targeted, women's rights. This report will examine the implementation of key observations made by the CEDAW Committee in 2008 and highlight the consequences of the current crisis in Bahrain on the fundamental rights and freedoms of women.

حكمت محكمة بحرينية على الناشطة السياسية والحقوقية زينب الخواجة بالسجن لمدة شهر وذلك لدخولها ميدان اللؤلؤة المحظور في العاصمة المنامة، والتي كانت مسرحا للاحتجاجات المناهضة للحكومة العام الماضي.

أفاد محامون أن المحكمة الجنائية البحرينية قضت، اليوم، بحبس الناشطة الحقوقية زينب الخواجة لمدة شهر، ودفع كفالة مئة دينار (258 دولاراً) بعد اتهامها بالمشاركة في تظاهرة غير مرخص لها في 12 شباط/فبراير 2012، ودخول دوار اللؤلؤة الذي تعدّه السلطات منطقة محظورة.

In conversation with Azzurra Meringolo, the head of the "Bahrain Center for Human Rights" Maryam al-Khawaja reports on the repression of activists within the Bahrain democracy movement and how the regime is trying to portray the protests as a conflict between ethnic or confessional groups.

This International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, we would like to celebrate the brave women of Bahrain, who combat all social and cultural barriers to defend their equal rights and work to achieve social justice and freedom. Bahraini WHRD impart valuable lessons in determination and resistance to their sisters worldwide.

Where does one begin when talking about Bahrain’s courageous women? It is difficult to decide where to start, and what to tell.

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