Ali Abdulemam

Dublin Conference on Internet Freedom

It was good to have the opportunity to make a presentation at the OSCE Dublin Conference on Internet Freedom last week as it enabled me to raise the cases of human rights defenders Roza Tuletaeva (Kazakhstan), Maxim Efimov (Russia) and Ali Abdulemam (Bahrain). I also raised concerns about the UK Government's damaging proposals for mass surveillance of the Internet.

Bahrain - A wasted year

It was obvious 12 months ago that sentencing human rights defender Abdulhadi Alkhawaja to life in prison after torturing him and subjecting him to a show trial before a military court was a sign of weakness and desperation from the side of Bahrain's rulers. They were frantically trying to construct a conspiracy of foreign subversion even as all the world could see that the truth was bloody repression of peaceful protests. They even detained, tortured and prosecuted medical professionals who had had the affront to tell the truth about those who had been tortured and killed. The attempt at a cover up was a pathetic failure in spite of millions spent on Western PR agencies.

Obama, Cameron and Bahrain

Let us welcome President Obama's condemnation of repression in Bahrain even if it is long overdue and was qualified by weasel words about legitimate Government concerns and Iranian interference. He rightly said "mass arrests and brute force are at odds with the universal rights of Bahrain's citizens." Talking more generally he also said "the truth cannot be hidden," and "repression will fail, and tyrants will fall."

David Cameron's unwise decision to welcome Bahrain's Crown Prince to Downing Street may also turn out to have a positive side. There was widespread criticism across the UK media from the Telegraph and Mail to the Guardian. The highlight was the Independent's front page banner headline "Cameron embraces tyranny" over a picture of him shaking hands with the Prince on the steps of 10 Downing Street.

One must hope that the media coverage delivered a blunt message to Bahrain's rulers in a way that British and US Government diplomacy has so far failed to do. The Crown Prince had previously been positioned as an advocate of dialogue and reform and might still play a positive role.

Bahrain: Great News - imprisoned blogger and human rights defender, founder of Bahrainonline.org, Ali Abdulemam released from prison. posted on: 2011/02/23

Front Line is today celebrating the release of our friend and colleague Ali Abdulemam, who is one of the 23 detainees released from prison in Bahrain.

Further Information

Ali Abdulemam, blogger and founder of Bahrainonline.org was one of a group of 11 human rights defenders arrested and held in pre-trial detention with 12 other political activists on charges of participation in a terrorist conspiracy.

During their period in detention there were regular and credible allegations of torture of the detainees. Front Line has repeatedly called for the release of Ali Abdulemam and the other human rights defenders on the basis that there was no evidence to link him to the alleged crime and that the charges were politically motivated.

“While celebrating Ali's release and that of the other detainees Front Line continues to demand a full investigation into the serious allegations of torture made during this trial.

Bahrain: Great News - imprisoned blogger and human rights defender, founder of Bahrainonline.org, Ali Abdulemam released from prison. posted on: 2011/02/23

Front Line is today celebrating the release of our friend and colleague Ali Abdulemam, who is one of the 23 detainees released from prison in Bahrain.

Further Information

Ali Abdulemam, blogger and founder of Bahrainonline.org was one of a group of 11 human rights defenders arrested and held in pre-trial detention with 12 other political activists on charges of participation in a terrorist conspiracy.

During their period in detention there were regular and credible allegations of torture of the detainees. Front Line has repeatedly called for the release of Ali Abdulemam and the other human rights defenders on the basis that there was no evidence to link him to the alleged crime and that the charges were politically motivated.

“While celebrating Ali's release and that of the other detainees Front Line continues to demand a full investigation into the serious allegations of torture made during this trial.

Bahrain: Front Line Open Letter to Secretary of State Clinton demands freedom for Mr Ali Abdulemam and 10 other human rights defendersposted on: 2010/12/03

As Hilary Clinton arrives in Bahrain (today Friday 03 December) to open the annual Manama Dialogue, which draws political leaders from across the Middle East, Front Line has written to Secretary of State Clinton regarding its concerns re the ongoing trial of Ali Abdulem and 10 other imprisoned human rights defenders.

Further Information

Secretary of State Clinton is in Bahrain to open the annual Manama Dialogue organised by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies, which this year draws prime ministers, defence ministers, military officials, intelligence chiefs and private sector heads from across the region.

As political leaders from across the region gather in Bahrain to discuss regional security Front Line wishes to emphasise the need to recognise the vital and legitimate role of human rights defenders.

Specifically Front Line's open letter calls for the release of Ali Abdulemam and 10 other human rights defenders who are facing trial in Bahrain charged with participation in a terrorist conspiracy.

Front Line has raised the concerns identified in the report of its observer at the most recent trial hearing which focused on the lack of credi

Bahrain: Human rights defenders may face unfair trial after security clampdown posted on: 2010/10/27

As the trial of 11 human rights defenders and other political activists gets underway in Bahrain today (Thursday 28 October) Front Line, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, based in Dublin, reiterates its doubt whether the trial will meet international fair trial standards.

Bahrain: Front Line Mission to Bahrain raises new concerns about the risk of torture for imprisoned human rights defenders and political activists. posted on: 2010/09/29

Vincent Forest, Head of the EU office of Front Line - the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders based in Dublin, Ireland - today completed a mission to Bahrain to assess the current situation for imprisoned human rights defenders and political activists in light of the recent clampdown.