Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb
Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, both board members of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association, were arrested on charges of “inciting hatred against the regime” and “calling to overthrow and change the regime by force” following the group’s call for a teacher strike in March 2011. According to reports from Amnesty International, al-Salman was held in solitary confinement after her arrest and subjected to about a week of beatings. Amnesty International has expressed serious concerns about Mahdi’s health and fears that he may die in prison: during a hearing in December 2011, he showed clear signs of having been beaten.
On October 21, 2012, an appeals court upheld their guilty verdict with prison sentences of six months for al-Salman and five years for Dheeb.
Please send appeals for their release to:
His Majesty Shaikh Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
P. O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, Kingdom of Bahrain
Fax: + 973 1766 8884
His Excellency Dr Majid bin Ali Al-Naimi
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education Building
Al Istiklal Street
P.O. Box 43
Isa Town Central, Kingdom of Bahrain
Fax: +973 1768 7866
His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa
Minister of Justice & Islamic Affairs
Ministry of Justice & Islamic Affairs
P.O. Box 450
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Fax: +973 1753 6343
I am extremely concerned about the trial and imprisonment of Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, both board members of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association, who were arrested on charges of “inciting hatred against the regime” and “calling to overthrow and change the regime by force” following the group’s call for a teacher strike in March 2011.
Their multiple appearances before the National Safety Court of First Instance, a military court, is a breach of their right to fair trial before an independent and impartial court. Both have been subject to torture and mistreatment during their detention. Al-Salman was held in solitary confinement after her arrest and subjected to a week of beatings. During a hearing in December 2011, she showed clear signs of having been beaten. Mahdi Abu Dheeb testified at an April 2, 2012 hearing that he was tortured. During appeals, judges rejected his lawyer’s requests for a release on bail due to his poor health, despite the fact that the forensic team to which the judge referred Mahdi Abu Dheeb for medical examination had yet to be appointed.
I respectfully urge you to investigate the allegations of torture and mistreatment, the trial proceedings in which no evidence was presented that they advocated violence, and the violation of their citizen rights by appearing before a military court. If Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi Abu Dheeb were arrested because of their leadership of the Bahrain Teachers Association and the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, they should be immediately and unconditionally released, and all charges against them should be dropped. Please ensure that their appeal hearing meets international standards and that any evidence obtained through torture or duress not be used against them. While in custody, please guarantee that they receive appropriate medical care and are protected from ill-treatment.
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