Drop Politically-Motivated Charges Against Online Activist

jail cell by Adam Jones PhD

Target: Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minster of the Interior

Goal: Drop charges against man accused of posting dissenting political opinions online.

Ibrahim Karimi, a citizen of Bahrain, has been charged with a number of offenses related to political posts he allegedly made on Twitter. Sign the petition and demand that the charges against him be dropped.

Karimi was accused of “inciting hatred and contempt against the regime,” “publicly insulting the King,” and “publicly insulting Saudi Arabia and its King.” Upon his arrest, officers searched his house and found a small electroshock device. Such devices have been illegal in Bahrain since 2008. Karimi claims he only bought it for his wife to use in self-defense. Nevertheless, possession of the weapon was added to the list of charges against him.

Following his arrest, Karimi was brought to the police station in Manama where he was interrogated without a lawyer present. He denied being the owner of the account from which the tweets originated, but was allegedly bullied and threatened in an attempt to make him admit responsibility for the tweets. He did eventually “confess” when his interrogators told him that if he did not, they would arrest his son. He also says that prison officers threatened to “make an example of him” and “make him disappear,” Amnesty International reports.

International human rights laws guarantee freedom of speech. By his own assertion, Karimi did not post the tweets in question, but even if he did, his arrest and potential deportation would be absolutely deplorable and unacceptable. Sign the petition and demand that the charges against Ibrahim Karimi be dropped immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister,

I am writing to urge you to drop the charges against Ibrahim Karimi, who stands accused of posting incendiary remarks on Twitter. His arrest violates his right to free speech. Please do what is right and drop all the charges against him.

Karimi has been charged with “inciting hatred and contempt against the regime,” “publicly insulting the King,” and “publicly insulting Saudi Arabia and its King.” He denies owning the Twitter account from which the posts originated, but eventually “confessed” after his interrogators threatened to arrest his son and prison guards promised  to “make an example of him” and “make him disappear.”

Karimi is also facing deportation under part C of the Citizenship Law, which states that anyone convicted of “damaging state security” can be deported. Even if Karimi did author the tweets he so vehemently denies writing, his right to free speech protects him from government retribution. I urge you to do what is right: release Ibrahim Karimi and drop all the charges against him.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D.

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