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Four IFEX members and other organisations highlight international community's worrying silence on growing campaign of repression

(CIHRS/IFEX) - 22 September 2010 - The undersigned organizations are deeply concerned about and harshly condemn the growing campaign of repression in Bahrain, which so far has entailed the arrest of hundreds of political activists, human rights defenders, and Shiite religious figures - many of whom have been tortured. We also condemn the ongoing campaign to smear political dissidents and human rights defenders as inciters of terrorism.

The undersigned organizations monitor with profound concern the international community's silence about the repressive measures taken in Bahrain, which only encourages the authorities to continue with actions that are clearly aimed at stifling or shutting down independent rights groups; many of which are potential monitors to the parliamentary elections scheduled for next month. These elections are widely expected to be subject to flagrant manipulation to undermine the voters' will, part of a long-standing policy to maintain the political marginalization and invisibility of Shiite and Liberal opposition.

In the face of this fierce security and media campaign, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights have been compelled to temporarily relocate their operations to Europe. Although the Bahraini authorities dissolved the Bahrain Center for Human Rights in 2004, the organization has bravely continued its work and acquired the reputation as one of the most prominent human rights organizations, known for its regional and international activities. As for the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, it has been denied a permit of operation by the government, and its chair has been prosecuted for engaging in rights work without authorization.

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Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Non-IFEX signatories:

Al Nadim Center for Treatment and Psychological Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence, Egypt
Arab Foundation for Civil Society and Human Rights Support, Egypt
Association for Human Rights Legal Aid, Egypt
Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights
Center for Alternative Development Studies, Egypt
Center for Trade Union and Workers Services, Egypt
Committees for the Defense of Democracy Freedom and Human Rights, Syria
Committee for the Respect of Liberties and Human Rights in Tunisia
Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies
Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
Group for Human Rights Legal Aid, Egypt
Habi Center for Environmental Rights, Egypt
Hesham Mubarak Law Center, Egypt
Human Rights First Society, Saudi Arabia
Iraqi Human Rights Association, Denmark
Land Center for Human Rights, Egypt
Palestinian Center for Human Rights
Sister's Arab Forum for Human Rights, Yemen
Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
Yemeni Organization for the Defense of Rights and Democratic Freedoms

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