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US citizens arrested in Bahrain supporting peaceful protest near one-year anniversary of uprising

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on 14 Comments

The following press release was just sent out by WitnessBahrain.org:

American Citizens Arrested in Bahrain during Peaceful Protest
Huwaida Arraf & Radhika Sainath in Police Custody

For immediate release

Febraury 11, 2011

(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 ( http://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.

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About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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14 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    February 11, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Sure don’t hear anything about this in the US MSM. 0 about Bahrain. 0 about Saudi Arabia.

    • mudder
      mudder
      February 11, 2012, 3:14 pm

      Yes. Silence in the U.S. media outlets. Even in their hometowns of Detroit MI and Orange County CA.

  2. Les
    Les
    February 11, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Let’s compare the official US position about their arrests with those Americans arrested by the Egyptians.

  3. chrisjj
    chrisjj
    February 11, 2012, 2:20 pm

    Huwaida Arraf and Radhika’s brutal arrest and detention in Bahrain is alarming to say the least. I happen to know Huwaida and she is a remarkable person: so brave, brilliant, and fearless, but she and Radhika have been arrested in a place where medical doctors are jailed for treating the injured and torture is routine, a place where terrible human rights violations are ignored by the US Government and not covered by the mainstream media because America has naval bases there. Contact the State Department (http://contact-us.state.gov/app/answers/list ) and demand that pressure be put on the Bahraini government to release Huwaida and Radhika immediately.

  4. mudder
    mudder
    February 11, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Radhika has posted Off the Coast of Gaza on MW. Huwaida was arrested in Freedom Riders and was roughed up by the IDF in the the flotilla to Gaza that included the Mavi Marmara.

  5. mudder
    mudder
    February 11, 2012, 3:43 pm

    The events just before the brutal arrest were captured on video here.

  6. annie
    annie
    February 11, 2012, 5:53 pm

    i just finished signing a petition sent via huwaida’s twitter account.

    Huwaida Arraf @huwaidaarraf

    sign petition to stop US arms sales to bahrain;

    https://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-stop-any-new-arms-deals-with-bahrain

    • mudder
      mudder
      February 11, 2012, 6:14 pm

      Twitter is an excellent source for breaking stories–We were able to follow these events as they occurred on #WitnessBahrain. Now following #ProtectAlaqsa and #SaveAlaqsa.

  7. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    February 11, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Bahrain? Isn’t that the country were that power-house of democracy Saudi Arabia went in [in the dead of night] to restore human rights and kill the Arab Spring?

  8. mudder
    mudder
    February 12, 2012, 2:24 pm

    Maath Musleh tweets info from Huwaida Arraf’s spouse

    According to Adam Shapiro @radhikasainath & @huwaidaarraf has been attacked on the plane being deported to London #Bahrain

  9. Kate
    Kate
    February 12, 2012, 4:55 pm

    Leah McElrath @alphaleah
    #BAHRAIN :MT @adshap: @radhikasainath punched n head; @huwaidaarraf hair pulled; no food/water/restroom whole flight – pilot didn’t respond

  10. mudder
    mudder
    February 13, 2012, 12:37 am

    The latest:

    Ali Ashoor
    @radhikasainath btw how is @huwaidaarraf and is she fine?

    radhika sainath
    @Ali_Ashoor @huwaidaarraf on same flight we r tired bruised sore but ok. Lucky we r US cits. #Bahrain democracy activists routinely tortured

    There was mention that they would be interviewed Monday AM on Democracy Now.

  11. mudder
    mudder
    February 13, 2012, 9:31 pm

    Recommended: their interview with Ellen Goodman this morning.

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