Huwaida Arraf & Radhika Sainath in Police Custody Bahrain

American Citizens Arrested in Bahrain during Peaceful Protest

Huwaida Arraf & Radhika Sainath in Police Custody

For immediate release
Febraury 11, 2012

(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 (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.

For more information:

Adam Shapiro:   +353-85-236-0262

video Huwaida Arraf

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