UPDATE on photographer Hussain Hubail:
Photographer Hussain Hubail’s appeal against his five-year sentence has been rejected by the High Criminal Court of Appeal. He was sentenced on 28 April 2014 on charges that included “using social media networks to incite hatred of the regime”, “calling on people to ignore the law” and “calling for illegal demonstrations”.
The five-year sentence handed down to Hussain Hubail, a 21-year-old photographer, was upheld by the High Court of Appeal on 21 September. He had been sentenced on 28 April under Article 160 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes the overthrow of the regime by force or “any other illegal means”. Charges against him also included “using social media networks to incite hatred of the regime”, “calling on people to ignore the law” and “calling for illegal demonstrations”. After sentencing, he was transferred to Jaw Prison, around 30km south of the capital, Manama.
Hussain Hubail is understood to have told the court during a hearing on 27 January that he had been tortured and threatened with rape during his interrogation. The court dismissed these allegations on the basis that the forensic report could not find traces of recent injuries to indicate he had been subjected to physical violence. The Ombudsman’s Office at the Ministry of Interior told Amnesty International on 18 March that an independent investigation into these allegations had been opened, but no results have yet been published.
Please write immediately in English, Arabic or your own language:
* Calling on the authorities to release Hussain Hubail immediately and unconditionally as he is being held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
* Calling on them to publish the results of the investigation into Hussain Hubail’s allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and bring those responsible to justice;
* Urging them to ensure that Hussain Hubail receives any medical attention he may require, including any specialist treatment needed for his heart condition.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 NOVEMBER 2014 TO: (Time difference = GMT + 3 hrs / BST + 2 hrs)
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama,
Fax: 00973 1766 4587
Salutation: Your Majesty
Minister of Interior
Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: 00973 1723 2661
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P. O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: 00973 1753 1284
Salutation: Your Excellency
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEAL TO
Her Excellency Miss Alice Thomas Yusuf Samaan, Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, 30 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QB
Fax: 020 7201 9183, Tel: 020 7201 9170, Email: email@example.com, Website: http://www.bahrainembassy.co.uk
Hussain Hubail was arrested on 31 July 2013, ahead of anti-government protests that had been organized in many of Bahrain’s Shi’a villages for 14 August. Protesters had been planning to march to Manama but the security forces prevented them by using teargas and erecting barbed wire around some of the villages. At least 18 people were arrested. The Tamarrud (Rebellion) movement, made up of youth groups, chose 14 August 2013 to organize anti-government protests to denounce government repression and call for genuine political reforms. Mainstream opposition associations were also planning a large anti-government rally, but it was cancelled due to the heavy presence of the security forces in Manama. One of the men who was arrested with Hussain Hubail, Mohammad Hassan Sudayf, told his family that he had been given electric shocks, beaten, forced to strip naked and had his clothes taken away while detained at the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID). Hussain Hubail started a hunger strike on 15 September 2014 and ended it on 23 September after being sent to hospital where a doctor advised him to suspend the strike due to his high blood pressure.
PLEASE CHECK WITH THE INDIVIDUALS AT RISK PROGRAMME AT AIUK BEFORE SENDING APPEALS AFTER 24 NOVEMBER 2014
Individuals at Risk Programme, Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA, 0207 033 1572, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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