`KRC report on Political Imprisonment in the Arab Countries
KRC report on Political Imprisonment in the Arabic Countries
There are no specific statistics on the number of political prisoners of freedom of speech in the Arab world. Due to the dictatorial regimes which are perched on most Arab nations, where a number of them still depend on the absolute monarchies of ruling, and with the rulers of the inherited presidency from generation to generation, freedom of speech and democracy sharply confront offensive oppression. Human rights defenders, civil societies organizations, and journalists suffer from this deteriorating fact which is an alarm for a threatening situation.
Political imprisonment is the process of arresting a person who is accused for exercising the rights and freedoms enshrined in international conventions, or for exercising their right to peaceful protests and demonstrations for political, economic or social or cultural demands, and confronting the forces of public violence.
So, the political imprisonment is in deed a severe violation against human rights.
Here is a list of some examples from all over the world:
Coup of Bahrain
The law of "anti-terrorism" in Bahrain, issued in 2006 has spread an atmosphere of terror in the kingdom after arresting human rights activists, citizens, and human rights defenders by the security forces.
However, it is not the first time when the forces of the security authorities take an advantage of this law to detain people politically. In fact, this law allows security forces to detain suspects for up to 15 days before being presented to the public prosecutor.
As for the recent wave of arrests, it has affected particularly human rights activists, accusing them of being behind the terrorist organizations. The campaign focused in particular on the indictment of the Bahraini Association for Human Rights and some international and regional bodies that are struggling for human rights in Bahrain.
And recently completed to close the offices of the Assembly during the month of October. Long arrests four militants in the opposition have been arrested, where rates of interest to them had been detained in unknown places by security men in uniform and civilian. The detainees are Abdul Jalil Al Sankees, who was arrested at the airport on his return to the country with his family and Abdul Ghani dagger and Sheikh Saeed Al-Nouri and Sheikh Mahmoud Habib Miqdad. Al Sankees who teaches in the University of Bahrain, and who leads the movement of the right of civil liberties and democracy, the opposing organization against the political regime, which calls for a boycott of the elections and elected officials. But he faces difficulty navigating without a wheelchair or walking stick. Al Sankees and Dagher were arrested after their participation in the conference in the House of Lords in London on August where they criticized the human rights practices in Bahrain. Al Sakees was accused of "incitement to violence and terrorist acts." According to the Bahraini media, said King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for the high-ranking officials that the security forces it to take "necessary action" against those who distort the reputation of the country."
In the month of August also, security forces detained 160 prisoners including the sister of Al Sankees.
In October, the Ministry of Social Development they would refer financial irregularities and administrative members of the Bahraini Association for Human Rights to the judiciary, handed over the keys to the claim of the Assembly.
The detaining campaign widened to reach Al Bahrain Center for Human Rights and many other human rights activists.
Arrest of Jurists
Lately, the security forces in the Arab States have increased their detaining campaigns targeting human rights defenders and activists in a way to suppress human rights movements and spread fear among people and create a dreadful atmosphere towards human rights activities, noting that most countries have ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
In Syria, authorities continued to detain human rights activist opposition lawyer Haitham Maleh (born 1931) since 14 October, 2009. The detainee was arrested outside his office by elements of the state security apparatus. And because he criticized, publicly, the Syrian authorities for their continuous violations against democratic practices and freedom of speech and use of the laws of the state of emergency to justify a lot of human rights violations. Maleh has disappeared for five days, to be charged with "publishing false information likely to undermine the morale of the nation", and was sentenced later by a military court, although he does not hold any military status or rank. In the aftermath of this trial, which did not allow him to receive the assistance of law, imposed in July 4, 2010 prison sentence of three years. He had previously been imprisoned without trial.
Al Maleh was deprived from practicing his job as a lawyer in 2003; and continued to prevent him from traveling outside the country prohibit him from lecturing since January 2004.
In Syria too, the authorities arrested the student Tal Almlouhi (born 1991) on 27 December 2009, after she published some articles expressing political views and opinions on her email. Two days after her arrest, the security forces came to her house where they confiscated her computer and some CDs and her mobile phone.
Detention without cause
Detaining citizens without specific accusation is a feature of the Arab regimes. Such as Saudi Arabia authorities which ordered to arrest the Alsnhani (34 years), from his home since the February 1, 2004, and was detained without trial, and then moved to many prisons before being opposed in front of the court.
Arrest due to religious background
and the activity of religious extremist groups in order to grab the Islamists simply ideological and political affiliations. In Morocco, until the end of last year, 2009, the number of political prisoners known about 130 detainees. Noting that the numbers are increasing year after year, especially after the terrorist bombings that took place in 2003.
In Algeria, authorities continue to arrest Malek Majnoun since more than 11 years in custody, accused of complicity in the assassination of one of the Algerian singers who was killed by an unidentified armed group. He had carried out a hunger strike between June and August, as a means to reject the suffering he faces.
In Jordan, the forces of the intelligence arrested the Islamic preacher Isam Mohammed Taher al-Barqawi, on September 17, 2010. Since then, he disappeared, and his fate is still unknown.
Arrest of journalists
In Mauritania, the authorities arrested the journalist, Hanafi Weld Dehah (33 years) on June 18, 2009, and remained in solitary jail for a period of 5 days before being brought before the investigating judge. Dehah was arrested after the publication of an article posted on the Progressive News on the Internet.
In Yemen, the security forces arrested the journalist Elah Haidar on 16 August 2010, and it was not the first time as he was arrested last June, then released after being subjected to ill treatment, and questioned about the views made by the public to channel "island" space.
In the UAE, the authorities arrested Hassan, Dokki July 20, 2008 in Sharjah, for his views on the blog on the Internet. An activist in the field of human rights and one of the founders of "Social Reform Society," which defends human rights and critical of the absence of public freedoms in the United Arab Emirates. After he was sentenced on 4 March 2009, Baquba, 10 years in prison, his sentence was reduced to 6 months after the resumption of this provision, and was released on May 11, 2009.
In Jordan, authorities arrested the student Hatem Shuli Eetmoz 25, 2010 and he was tried before a military tribunal accused of insulting King Abdullah and "inciting national," against the background of writing a criticizing poem posted on the Internet.
In Lebanon, the forces of the Lebanese army intelligence arrested the activist Ismail Sheikh Hassan on August 18, 2010, accused of publishing an article in As-Safir newspaper last May.
In Saudi Arabia, recent reports reveal that about tens thousand political prisoners are being imprisoned without trial. Including the human rights activist Mukhlif bin Dham-Shammari, who was arrested on May 15, 2010, after he published articles attacking the hard-line religious views.
In Libya, the authorities are still prohibiting least seven Web sites and independent sites since late January 2010 due to Libyan opposition abroad.
In Kuwait, officers from the Interior Ministry arrested a journalist and blogger Mohamed Jassim Al Jassim, on 11 May 2010 and detained him for 49 days because of what he wrote on his blog and in his books of criticism of the government and the Kuwaiti ruling family.
In Morocco, authorities arrested three activists on 8 October 2009, on charges of "undermining the external security", and refer them for trial before a military court.
In Tunisia, the authorities should stop ordering the former political prisoners to sign daily on a regular basis with the police, which is a hard commitment and does not have any clear basis in the Tunisian law.
The number of political prisoners in Tunis is about 1000. In Sudan, there are around 70, whereas in Egypt, the number is around 80 thousands from different political backgrounds.
Political imprisonment is an increasing phenomenon in the Arabic countries and the suppression is predominant.
Today, we demand the release of all the political prisoners in the world and we insist on bringing end to this act and consider it as a crime against the prisoners and their families. We demand an apology to all the political prisoners and the punishment to the detainers.
Freedom to all the political prisoners in the world