Abdul-Hadi to appear in court
Abdul Hadi Al-Khuwaja, the Bahraini prisoner of conscience, was officially told that he will appear before the court next Saturday 16th October 2004 at 9 am. Protest calling for his release is therefore scheduled to be held in front of the court at same time which eventually enhances the same noble goal of yesterday's protest by several hundreds people in the Seef district.
Abdul-Hadi is facing two main charges that can reach more than 5 years imprisonment for his comments made against the Prime Minister in a seminar on poverty in Bahrain. It is important to remark that the Public Prosecutor has refused the request of the international lawyers and human rights activists to defend Abdul-Hadi or to attend court sessions as observers.
12 lawyers defending Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR)
Early today, 12 top Bahraini lawyers submitted to the court the case of BCHR that was unlawfully dissolved by an administrative order from the Ministry of Labour. BCHR was dissolved after the arrest of its Executive Director, Abdul-Hadi Al-Khuwaja. The first court hearing is scheduled for 23rd October 2003.
Continuous activities and supports for BCHR and Abdul-Hadi
A seminar in support of Abdul-Hadi was held in an open air area in Belad Al Qadeem village on Friday night 8th October. The seminar was about the international and national consequences of the arrest of Abdul-Hadi. Couple of thousands people attended, headed by many key Bahraini figures. Among the Speakers were Abdul Hadi’s wife, Ali Rabia (former MP) and Hassan Moshaimea (Vice President of Al Wefaq - political society).
Activities in support of Abdul-Hadi and BCHR have prompted indirect threats to supporters of Abdul-Hadi should they continue their demand for his release.
Thus, as a result of Abdul-Hadi’s wife activities, the authorities made it hard and complicated for her and the family to visit Abdul-Hadi. At the beginning, permission for the visit needed a direct request from the detention centre where Abdul-Hadi is being held; but now, they have changed this procedure and the family has to go to the Public Prosecutor’s office to get the visit permission. The number of direct family relatives who can visit Abdul-Hadi has also been reduced.
14 Bahraini human rights activist signed a petition for the release of Abdul-Hadi, restoring BCHR, and reopening Al-Oruba Cultural Club. The petition will be submitted to the authorities in Bahrain.
A Candle-light vigil and a car parade protest are scheduled to take place this week to support Abdul-Hadi, the prisoner of conscience.