Target: Bahraini government
Goal: Release activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda, who was arrested for tweeting a photo of an injured protestor during a human rights demonstration
Bahraini human rights activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda was recently arrested and charged for an act many take for granted: spreading information on Twitter. Muhafda, the President and Head of the Documentation Unit at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was reporting on a non-violent demonstration in the capital Manama when police arrested him. He is now being charged with, among other things, spreading false information through his Twitter feed.
As riot police converged on the non-violent human rights demonstration, Muhafda took and posted a photo of a young activist who was brutally injured by attempts to suppress the protest. However, he soon found himself being carried off by police himself. While Muhafda was simply documenting events as they occurred, he has still been charged with spreading false information–an unfair and erroneous charge that serves only to keep him off the streets and away from his vital work with multiple human rights organizations.
This isn’t the first time Muhafda has seen the inside of a jail cell for reporting on human rights abuses. Last November, he was detained while documenting a violent police attack on another peaceful demonstration. It’s clear that Muhafda is in no way breaking the law. His arrests are simply a strategy for keeping information about Bahrain’s human rights abuses out of the sight of the public.
The attack on the human rights of Bahraini citizens must be stopped. Condemn this egregious assault on free speech and demand Muhafda’s immediate release by signing the petition below.
Dear leaders of Bahrain,
Recently, police arrested activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda for the simple act of publishing photographs of injured protestors on Twitter. He has since been detained and faces charges of spreading false information. However, the only information Muhafda helped to spread was documentation of the police’s unjust suppression of a peaceful human rights protest.
No one should have to fear prison for speaking the truth. Muhafda’s arrest is clearly an attempt at keeping him from performing his important duties as an active member of multiple human rights organizations. He has committed no crime and does not deserve to be in prison for documenting the brutal activities of the police. I demand that you release Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda at once.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: S. Osama Al-Muhafdha via Twitter.