Bahrain Witness Under Arrest!

 

Huwaida Arraf, member of Bahrain Witness, a group arrived to Bahrain to witness the events of Bahrain’s revolution first anniversary  was arrested in Manama today!

(Manama) – US Citizens Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath were arrested by Bahraini security forces in Manama on Saturday during a peaceful protest in near the Standard Chartered Bank downtown. Protesters had marched into the city center to reestablish a presence of nonviolent, peaceful protest leading up to the 1-year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain.

Huwaida and Radhika were in Bahrain as part of an international solidarity effort aimed at providing an international civilian presence to report and monitor the situation on the ground. Leading up to February 14, Bahraini authorities had prevented journalists, human rights observers and other internationals from entering the country, leading many to fear a brutal crackdown. The two women are part of the Witness Bahrain initiative (www.witnessbahrain.org), which arrived in Bahrain in response to a call by Bahraini democracy activists for international observers.

Just yesterday, top US human rights envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, called on the Bahraini authorities to respect the rights of Bahrainis to peaceful protest and to refrain from using excessive force. Huwaida was dragged away by numerous security forces after sitting on the ground, and it is widely reported that detainees have suffered physical abuse while on the way to and at police stations.

Both women were part of a peaceful protest marching near the Pearl Roundabout – site of last year’s peaceful round-the-clock protest in Bahrain, modeled after Egypt’s Tahrir Square – when they were attacked. Both are human rights lawyers, and both have experience as human rights activists in Palestine. Additionally, both were part of the National Lawyer’s Guild delegation to Gaza following Operation Cast Lead to investigate possible war crimes and illegal use of American weaponry on a civilian population.

source : http://witnessbahrain.org/

Bahrainmirror.com reported(Ar) that Huwaida was beaten and arrested aggressively this afternoon, when she were participating in the 6th run of “Sumood” a peaceful protect in Manama downtown, organized by Nabeel Rajab president of Bahrain center of human rights.  On the government side, Bahrain news agency said that two activists have been deported from the country for joining illegal activities.

 

Bahrain Police Be Carful … Angry Girl Behind Your Bars

When ur in chains, living with no dignity or rights, bowing to criminal dictators, the first step is to forget ur fear & realize that its ur right.. to be angry

Police officer shout on Zainab after Handcuffing her upon her refusal to the arrest ( Photo by Reuters )

Said Zainab AlKhawaja in her Twitter account profile. She obviously felt in chains living under violent, dictator regime, although she was free and not behind actual bars. This feeling was enough to justify his anger and human rights activism. This feeling, This anger led finally to create a brave, talented Bahraini young lady that considered since the Lulu revolution a first class human rights fighter.

She’s a daughter of a family involved totally into human right activism, her father is Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, the founder of Bahrain Center For Human Rights, who has been arrested as well as Zainab’s husband, uncle, and brother in law in the current crackdown.

Since February 2011, the super stars and the well respected public are now the human rights activists, not the politicians anymore, in result to their outstanding effort in delivering the message, the case and the fight of Bahraini people to the rest of the world.

Zainab was part of team who went to many world capitals and participated in several human rights events and seminar related to the situation in Bahrain, However she took the lead of two significant actions, demanding the release of her family members. She established a hunger strike in April 2011, during that she wrote through her blog a letter to the President of United States :

When you were sworn in as president of the United States, I had high hopes. I thought: here is a person who would have never become a president if it were not for the African-American fight for civil liberties; he will understand our fight for freedom.

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I ask of you to look into your beautiful daughters’ eyes tonight and think to yourself what you are personally willing to sacrifice in order to make sure they can sleep safe at night, that they can grow up with hope rather than fear and heartache, that they can have their father and grandfathers embrace to run to when they are hurt or in need of support. Last night my one-year-old daughter went knocking on our bedroom door calling for her father, the first word she ever learnt. It tore my heart to pieces. How do you explain to a one-year-old that her father is imprisoned? I need to look into my daughter’s eyes tomorrow, next week, in the years to come, and tell her I did all that I could to protect her family and future.
For my daughter’s sake, for her future, for my father’s life, for the life of my husband, to unite my family again, I will begin my hunger strike.

And  again, in June 2011, she protested with three young ladies inside United Nation Development Programme office for the same reason. She participates in the marches and filed events, and live tweet, blog from there. She considered a prefect citizen journalist who covered most of Lulu events using wide offline and online professional and social networks.

Zainab (left) Live tweeting from UNDP last July

Yesterday, Zainab protested on one Budaiya Street roundabouts, as one of those was a part of the event Occupy BudaiyaSt. She was in the middle of the roundabout, she wasn’t blocking the road or doing anything that could be voilent. Police wanted to arrest her, she refused the arrest with siting on the ground, Later two youtube clips showed police shooting tear gas directly to her, and arresting her aggressively.

International Media such as Washington Post, New York Times, Aljazeera English, and BBC wrote about Zainab’s case today, while as expected regional media and activista mostly ignored her. Therefore Zainab needs the most support of human rights defenders, and from bloggers and tweeps. This is a call to start a camping supporting Zainab as a blogger and an activist, this is call to put hand in hand to help the brave fighter who went to serve her case totally till the end.