Local rights group launches innovative campaign to end impunity in Bahrain
Click here for updates on the Bahrain Center for Human Rights' campaign Wanted for Justice in Bahrain each day, when several new cards of violators will be revealed.
During the campaign, names and charges against individuals in the government will be revealed, from the lowest level officers to the highest levels of government, among those responsible for and directly involved in the ongoing human rights violations in the country.
Every day from 1 November until the International Day to End Impunity on 23 November, several cards will be released under the banner “Wanted for Justice in Bahrain”.
Despite the high probability of retaliation from the government, BCHR decided to launch this campaign because at this point, it has become clear that justice cannot be attained within the judicial system in Bahrain.
Also, due to the culture of impunity that exists locally, officials, especially those in high positions, are not held accountable, either locally or internationally, for their involvement in the ongoing violations against civilians in Bahrain.
The authorities in Bahrain have a history of retaliating against human rights defenders following reports of government violations. For example, in October 2012, BCHR's vice president, Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafdhah, was arrested promptly after BCHR released a report that named the head of the ruling family, Hamad Isa Al-Khalifa, as responsible for the culture of impunity which allows violations to continue.
There is great concern that individuals affiliated with BCHR inside Bahrain and their families will be targeted by the regime during, or after, this campaign.
Acting President of BCHR Maryam Al-Khawaja stated:
“It is about time we put a face to the violations. Continuously referring to the perpetrators of widespread human rights violations from the 1990's until now as the “Government of Bahrain” or the “regime” allows the individuals involved to continue living and traveling freely. Let their faces be known, not only in Bahrain, but internationally. All the names included in our list are people who should be given a fair trial according to international standards, and if found guilty, should be held accountable. We also hope that this campaign will help encourage international actors to stop doing business with these individuals, and start thinking about individual sanctions.”
International support for this campaign will not only help push Bahrain towards a better path, but will also help protect people who worked on this campaign despite the risks and dangers that come with it.
For more information, contact Maryam Al-Khawaja: maryam.alkhawaja (@) bahrainrights.org