Contact: email@example.com, 347-292-1444
For this action only: Radhika Sainath (Occupy Wall St. & Witness Bahrain) 917-669-6903 In Bahrain, Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain Center for Human Rights) +973 39.63.3399
Occupy Wall St. Global Justice Working Group, along with several other organizations, are holding an emergency demonstration outside the Bahraini Embassy as political prisoner Abdelhadi Al-Khawaja enters the 57th day of his hunger strike (http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5049). Arrested in April 2011, al-Khawaja is a pro-democracy activist and co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. He is in critical condition and risks organ failure.
When: Thursday, 5 April 2012 at 4pm Where: Bahrain Consulate, 866 2nd Avenue, New York, NY
According to the Center, in retribution for supporting the pro-democracy protests started in 2011, government security forces have killed over 80 people, destroyed 40 Shi’a mosques and religious sites since pro-democracy protests began in February 2011. Inspired by the Arab Spring movements in Tunisia and Egypt, Bahraini democracy activists continue to protest on a daily basis, calling for freedom and democracy.
Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Between 2006 and 2011, annual U.S. assistance to Bahrain ranged from $5 million to $18 million. A proposed $53 million transfer of Humvees and TOW missiles to the regime is currently on “hold.”
“It’s imperative that the US pressure its close ally Bahrain to immediately release Al-Khawaja, stop daily attacks on democracy protesters and respect human rights,” said Radhika Sainath, a co-founder of Witness Bahrain and member of Occupy Wall St. “Time is running out.”
Nabeel Rajab, co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, stated “We seek international intervention on Bahrain, politically, economically, to pressure the Bahraini regime to stop its crimes against the people and against all the prisoners, including my colleague and my teacher, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja.” More than one year later, the situation has yet to improve. Bahrain’s government has not carried out critical recommendations by the independent commission that looked into extensive human rights violations during the crackdown. Bahraini forces continue to use excessive force against unarmed protesters and target members of the media who cover these protests. Journalists and human rights defenders have faced military trials, life imprisonment, torture, harassment and in some cases even death while in the custody of the Bahraini authorities. Hundreds of people remain behind bars for speaking out and demanding equal political participation. No high-ranking officials have been investigated for their roles in rampant torture or unlawful killings.
Organizing groups also include Witness Bahrain (http://witnessbahrain.org/), American Council for Freedom in Bahrain (http://bahrainrallydc.wordpress.com/) and Campaign for Peace & Democracy (cpdweb.org).
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New York, NY – On April 4th, the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., unions, immigrant justice groups, and community activists joined together at Union Square to announce this year’s May Day rally and march scheduled for Tuesday May 1st, 2012, starting at 4pm at Union Square. With the overarching theme for May Day 2012 marked as “We Are the 99%: Legalize, Unionize, Organize,” leaders from each group of the coalition stood together, showing solidarity in the face of massive income inequality and attacks on working families, immigrant communities, and the public sector in New York City. Continue reading