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Solidarity with Bahraini Pro-Democracy Women and condemnation of violence

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October, 2011 - Following on from 2011 International Women's Day

"A Better World for All"

Bahrain is currently experiencing a massive popular uprising in which large numbers of women from different socio-economic, political and religious backgrounds have taken to the streets to demand greater rights, freedom and democracy. They were first met with a brutal crackdown from the Interior Ministry and Bahrain Defence Force which left seven dead and scores injured. In the light of international media frenzy, diplomatic condemnations and rising public anger, the government's armed personnel were withdrawn to allow the public a free space in which to express their discontent and demands.

On March 14th 2011, GCC, mainly Saudi, sent troops into Bahrain to quell pro-democracy protests. On March 16th, protesters were forced to leave the Pearl Roundabout, after which a campaign of repression across the country ensued. The death toll is now 43, including three women, political arrests reached over 2000, including hundreds of women, and over 3000 have been dismissed from their jobs for joining a general strike in protest during the height of the crackdown.

One woman, Bahia Alaradi, 51, was shot in the head on March 21st and two others died of tear gas inhalation. At least 16 women remain in custody, one has been sentenced to four years (Fadheela Mubarak). Many report they have been subjected to severe torture, including eight medics which have recently been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

It is here that aspirations for the future of Bahrain are being formulated into a plan, and it is here that tens of thousands of Bahraini women with demands for a more democratic and more just future are staking their claim.

We, the undersigned, iterate our support for the women of Bahrain who have stepped out in the face of extreme state violence to call for (in the words of UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet,) "a better world for all"; We condemn the death of Bahia Alaradi, and call for the immediate release of all women prisoners.

1. Recognising that women's rights are human rights, and that a political system based on rights will help promote, protect and preserve women's rights in Bahrain;

2. Re-affirming from clauses 1, 2, and 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that;

- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

- Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

- Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

3. Noting the commitment, and therefore responsibility, of the Bahraini government to a number of UN treaties which enshrine the rights of women, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention for Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

4. Stressing the importance of articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the current situation, which state that; Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

5. Reminding all nations of Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that

The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government

We, the undersigned;

1. We call on you to urge the Bahraini government to immediately release all women currently held in Bahraini prison's on charges related to their right to peacefully protest.


2. We call on you to urge the Bahraini government to drop the charges against all Bahraini doctors and teachers who have been given severe prison sentences, which include eight female doctors and one teacher.


3. We call on you to voice your support for Bahraini women struggling for democracy until the attainment of their civil, political and economic rights.


4. Request that all nations recognise the significance of movements for democracy and freedom and their impact on women, particularly where state's have resorted to violence, across the Middle East, including Bahrain.


5. Endorse the requests made by Bahraini women for investigations and appropriate action against all perpetrators of human rights violations and violence against women in the current uprising, including the three deaths of women and the countless of reports of torture during detention; seeing that the introduction of a culture of accountability will benefit women in Bahrain.


6. Deplore the targeting and repression of activists, academics, journalists, citizen journalists, and bloggers including women for exercising their right to freedom of expression and association. We reassert the right of Bahraini women to protest peacefully and freely.


7. Trust that the women of Bahrain deserve attention and solidarity from the International community in their desires and efforts for a more democratic and just system in which the universal principles of freedom, equality and justice are promoted and practiced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more, please watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYebYPqTsBc

 



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