10-25-2011By Brian Dooley
Director, Human Rights Defenders
Two weeks ago, Jaleela Al-Salman, a Bahraini teacher and vice president of the Bahrain Teachers Association, told me that the Bahraini security forces had tortured her when she was in detention earlier this year. Just after we spoke, masked men in civilian clothes broke into her home and abducted her again. There is a very real danger she will be tortured again.
Stand with Bahraini activists! Ask the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States, Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, to help free Jaleela immediately and to push for the Bahrain security forces to respect peaceful protests.
The Bahraini security forces first took Jaleela into custody in March for supporting the democracy movement. She was detained for over five months—longer than of any other woman arrested in connection to the pro-democracy protests. After a sham trial, a military court sentenced her to three years in prison relying on a confession Jaleela signed after being tortured. She was released pending an appeal scheduled for December. While she was free, Jaleela spoke out about her abuse by the government, and this could be the reason for her re-arrest.
Bahrain’s pro-democracy protests have been the largest, proportionately, of any country in the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have risen up to demand their human rights. The Bahrain monarchy has responded with a violent crackdown.
At Human Rights First, we work to make sure that the United States lives up to its ideals on human rights. Bahrain, the home of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, is an important ally of the United States that must not be allowed to violate the rights of its people.
Human Rights First will deliver this petition to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States, Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, and urge her to support release for Jaleela and other Bahraini activists fighting for democracy and human rights. Sign now!