Bahrain: Campaign for woman convicted for listening to ‘revolutionary’ music

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Bahrain:
Campaign for woman convicted for
listening to ‘revolutionary’ music

Fadhila Mubarak’s 18-month prison sentence for protesting and listening to ‘revolutionary’ music was upheld by the Court of Cassation in Bahrain’s capital Manama on 30 January 2012. Amnesty International has opened a letter campaign for her release.

Fadhila Mubarak was arrested on 20 March 2011 when her car was stopped at a checkpoint close to Rifaa, south-west of Manama. She was told she had been stopped for playing music calling for the overthrow of the regime, and was asked to turn the sound down.

Fadhila Mubarak refused and asked the police officer for identification, before being forced out of the car, beaten on the head and arrested. She was then taken to Rifaa police station and during an interrogation she was repeatedly beaten all over her body by female policewomen.

The National Safety Court of First Instance, a military court, found Fadhila Mubarak guilty of several charges on 17 May 2011, and she was sentenced to four years in jail.

On 8 June 2011 after four appeal hearings, the military court of appeal reduced her sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Prisoner of conscience
After the court rejected Fadhila Mubarak’s appeal on 30 January 2012 and upheld her prison sentence, Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui who is Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Progamme, said:

“Fadhila Mubarak is a prisoner of conscience who was reportedly beaten and tortured in detention and then sentenced in an unfair trial before a military court on spurious charges for standing up for her rights.”

“The Bahraini authorities must release her immediately and unconditionally. Fadhila Mubarak’s sentence only serves to demonstrate the intolerance of the authorities and the failures of the justice system. They must also launch an independent investigation into allegations of torture against her and bring those responsible to justice.”

She faced spurious charges of taking part in an illegal gathering of more than five people; taking part in illegal protests at the GCC (Pearl) Roundabout in central Manama; possessing CDs and leaflets inciting hatred towards the regime and assaulting a policeman by pulling his shirt.

Fadhila Mubarak was denied access to a lawyer before, during her trial and after her initial sentence. Her lawyer saw her for the first time in court on the first day of her first appeal on 25 May 2011.

Amnesty International only became aware of Fadhila Mubarak’s full story after other women inmates who were released on bail talked about her case.



UPDATE  – 7 February 2012

Fadhila Mubarak released
Only a week after the court of cassation upheld Fadhila Mubarak’s jail sentence, she was released, according to the Facebook page of Al-Wefaq opposition association. She has spend more than 10 months behind bars.

It remains unclear if Fadhila Mubarak was pardoned, rights activist Yusif al-Mahafda said.

Read more…
 




Bahrain

Sources

Bahrain Center for Human Rights – 30 January 2012:

‘Amnesty: Bahrain must release woman activist convicted for listening to ‘revolutionary’ music’

Amnesty International – 30 January 2012:

‘Bahrain must release woman activist convicted for listening to ‘revolutionary’ music’

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