World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Briefing Notes: 1) Bahrain 2) Qatar

08 January 2013

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Cécile Pouilly

Location: Geneva

Subjects: 1) Bahrain
2) Qatar

1) Bahrain

We regret that Bahrain’s highest court on Monday upheld the convictions of 13 activists for their role in pro-democracy demonstrations, after two years of trials and despite the conclusions of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and the appeals by the international community concerning the judicial procedure and allegations of torture,

These persons are political and human rights activists and we are concerned they may have been wrongly convicted for legitimate activities. We are also concerned by the extreme harshness of some of the sentences, including imprisonment for life.

In a separate development, we condemn the continued arbitrary detention of Mr. Said Yousif Al-Muhafdhah, the Vice President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), who was arrested on 17 December 2012 while monitoring a protest in Manama, tweeting about attacks on protesters and posting a picture of a demonstrator wounded during the protest.

His case is expected to be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Office on 9 January. We call on the Bahraini authorities to release him immediately.

2) Qatar

We are extremely concerned about Mohammed al Ajami (also known as Ibn al Dheeb), a well-known Qatari poet who was sentenced to life in prison on 29 November 2012 by a Qatari court for a poem considered to be insulting the nation’s symbols and encouraging the overthrow of its ruling system.

We are concerned by the fairness of his trial, including the right to counsel. The trial has been marred by a number of procedural irregularities and several of the sessions were held in camera. The initial statement of the defendant was allegedly tampered with to wrongly incriminate him for reciting his poem in public.

We are also concerned that Mr. al Ajami has apparently spent many months in solitary confinement and remains there despite a court order during his first instance trial to place him under normal conditions.

We understand that the second appeal is scheduled for January 27 and we continue to monitor the situation closely.


UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:

Check the Universal Human Rights Index:


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news