Bahrain extends detention of leading human rights activist

[JURIST] A lawyer for human rights activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda [official Twitter] said Sunday that his detention has been extended by the Bahrain government. Al-Muhafda, the acting vice president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) [advocacy website], was arrested [Reuters report] last Friday during an unauthorized protest. This arrest came three days after the BCHR had released a report [text] holding the king of Bahrain responsible for the spread of the culture of impunity within the country. Al-Muhafda's arrest also came only one month after his involvement at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website]. The BCHR has called [text] on the US, UK, and UN to put pressure on the Bahraini government to release Al-Muhafda and other activists, including leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab [JURIST news archive].

Tension between Bahrain's government and protesters has been on the rise since government forces clashed with protesters last year during pro-democracy demonstrations. Last month the Bahraini government banned all protests [JURIST report] via an emergency rule to stop the persistent anti-government protests [JURIST news archive] by threatening legal action against any groups that initiate demonstrations. In September, Bahrain pledged to follow the UN's plan [JURIST report] to improve the country's human rights conditions, but Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] raised doubts as to whether the government is fully committed to reform.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.