Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FrontLine Take Action Appeal

Frontline Defenders:

Take Action Now

Front Line is concerned following reports that Ghada Jamsheer, woman human rights defender and President of the Women's Petition Committee (WPC), is effectively banned from the national Bahrain media. The WPC is a network of Bahraini women human rights defenders who campaign for the codification of Bahrain’s family laws and the reform of Shari’a Family Courts.
Further InformationPosted 10/10/2007 On 6 October 2007, newspapers and media sources in Bahrain were ordered to prevent the publication or broadcast of any news article related to Ghada Jamsheer. The order was reportedly issued directly from the Royal Court, through its Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahemd Al-Khalifa. In April 2007, Ghada Jamsheer addressed a letter to King Sheikh Hamad bin Asa Al-Khalifa, in which she criticised the Supreme Council for Women for failing to promote the rights of women and consecrating political loyalty to the Government. The Supreme Council for Women is chaired by Queen Sheika Sabika Bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa.
Ghada Jamsheer has been victim of harassment, including a campaign of judicial harassment against her. In 2005, she faced three separate criminal charges for allegedly criticising a number of family court judges. These charges were eventually dropped on 19 June 2005. Since 2006, Ghada Jamsheer has been under permanent surveillance, there is a 24-hour presence of plainclothes Public Security officials of the Ministry of the Interior outside her home.
Front Line is concerned that the media ban on Ghada Jamsheer is directly related to her legitimate work in defence of human rights, in particular women's rights in Bahrain, and that it may form part of an ongoing campaign against human rights defenders in the country.

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