- Location of case in SG report
- Relevant SG report
- Year of the report
- Country Geolocation
- Country Geolocation (linked Countries)
- Middle East and North Africa
- UN body that raised the case prior to the SG report
- UN Special Procedures: Thematic
- Dates of prior UN action
- 22 March 2011; 12 April 2011; 20 May 2011
- Type of record
- Named individual
- Was the victim a foreign national?
- Was the victim a minor?
- Individual's/organization's activity
Until recently, the Front Line protection coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa region.
- Type of rights defended
- Unclear in SG Report
- Was the victim a civil servant, member of the security forces or of the judiciary?
- Reported trigger of reprisal
"Mr. Alkhawaja has openly discussed human rights concerns in Bahrain with a number of international human rights organizations, including those of the United Nations system."
Serious concerns were expressed that his situation may be linked to his legitimate work in the defence of human rights, in particular his work with international human rights organizations.
- Engagement with UN body
- Dates of engagement
- Type of attempted engagement
- Dates of mentioned reprisals
- 10 March 2011; 09 April 2011
- Reprisal information
According to the information received, a number of social networking sites allegedly posted death threats against Mr. Alkhawaja, accusing him of treason. The messages reportedly contained personal information about Mr. Alkhawaja, including his address, phone number, personal identification number and profession. It is reported that such information is normally found on Bahraini national identity cards. Details about the type of car driven by Mr. Alkhawaja were also made available on the sites. Text messages were also circulated containing similar death threats against Mr. Alkhawaja.
9 April 2011, Mr. Abdulhadi Alkhawaja was arrested, held incommunicado, presented for trial and allegedly subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment while in detention.
- Types of reprisals suffered
- Online harassment
- Threats/Intimidations (incl. "fear of reprisal")
- Physical attack: Torture/Cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment
- Charge/Investigation/Prosecution: Trial
- Alleged/likely perpetrators
- Was the reprisal based on new legislation?
- Does the report make general comment about country’s environment for engagement with UN?
- Government response dates
- 26 May 2011; 7 and 8 June 2011
- Government response content
The Government confirmed in response to the Communication that Mr. Alkhawaja had been arrested.
The Government responded to the latest communications on 7and 8 June 2011. Unfortunately, no translation was available at the time of completion of the present report.
- Is the country cited for a "pattern of reprisal" in the context of this case?
- Is a pattern of reprisals mentioned otherwise in the context of this case?
- Does the report cite "self-censorship" as an issue in the context of this case?
- How many times has the case been followed up in subsequent SG reports?
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 0
- Follow up information provided in SG report 0
- According to information received, the National Safety Court (a military court) sentenced Mr. Al-Khawaja, Mr. Al-Singace, Mr. Mushaima and Mr. Ghani Al-Kanja to life imprisonment on 22 June 2011. The Government reportedly considered that these human rights defenders formed part of a “terrorist cell”. The same defenders were referred to in several urgent appeals sent by special procedures, notably a communication of 5 August 2011 expressing concern in relation to their prosecution.13
- On 13 April 2012, four special rapporteurs issued a press release urging the Government to immediately release Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who was serving a life sentence as a result of a decision of a military court on terrorism-related charges brought against him. Allegedly, he had been held in incommunicado detention before being allowed to seek legal counsel and forced to make confessions under duress, which were later used as evidence in his trial. Mr. Al-Khawaja reportedly had been on hunger strike since 8 February 2012 and despite assurances of his well-being by Bahraini authorities, reports and photos documenting his poor state of health continued to emerge. The special rapporteurs noted that the case was “sadly emblematic of the overall treatment of human rights defenders in Bahrain”.14 Special procedures sent several urgent appeals in relation to this case, most recently on 12 March 2012 (A/HRC/20/30, p. 68)
- Followup Trends 0
- Deterioration/further reprisals
- Did the government respond? 0
- Was this case followed up by a UN body? 0
- UN Special Procedures: Thematic