Petition launched to demand no action be taken against civil society delegates of UPR

A petition has been launched calling on the Government of Bahrain to not take any legal (or other) action against the civil society representatives who attended the United Nations Universal Periodic Review in Geneva.

The President of the UN Human Rights Council called for this during the UPR session, but the Bahrain Minister of Interior has suggested legal action will be taken.

The petition can be found here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/defend-upr-delegates/     

It reads:

Your Excellency, Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Bahrain Minister of Interior,

We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Bahrain take no legal (or other) action against the following members of civil society who attended the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva:

• Jalila Al Salman
• Sayed Hadi Al Musawi
• Dr. Nada Dhaif
• Lamees Dhaif
• Maryam Al Khawaja
• Faisal Hayat
• Dr. Taha Al Derazi
• Mohamed Al Tajer
• Abdulnabi Alekri
• Hassan Al Marzooq
• Isa Al Ghayeb
• Alaa Shehabi
• Dr. Monther Alkhoor

The statement that you made on 26th May 2012, in which you said there would be “legal procedures” against those individuals, is in direct contradiction with the remarks of the President of the UN Human Rights Council, who called on Bahrain to not make any reprisals against those who attended the UPR.

We call on you to heed the recommendation of the President and drop any proposed plans to take action against those civil society representatives.

Those individuals have the basic right to attend international events to express their opinions and share their experiences, free from the threat of intimidation.

They also have the right to make representation to the Human Rights Council and inform them of any information that relates to their work, including if they feel threatened or uncomfortable about media articles that personally attack them.

Any action taken against the individuals, on either basis, will discredit your commitment to human rights and your participation in the UPR process.

Furthermore we demand that their involvement will not affect or be used in any further trials that any one of them may face. Many of the above have already suffered through imprisonment and this should not be worsened.

We call on you to immediately make a statement to clarify your comments of 26th May and hope that you will reassure them and the watching world that no action will be taken.

We call on you to sign this petition and share it widely. These courageous people are guilty of no crime and should not face any form of harassment.

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