Friday, April 8, 2011

Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, Wafi Almajed, Salah Alkhawaja and Hussain Ahmed Hussain

Abdulhadi Alkhawaja

Salah Alkhawaja

Hussain Ahmed Hussain

Wafi Almajed

Photo Credits: @angryarabiya 

On April 9th 2011, during the early morning hours, a Twitter friend, @angryarabiya, who has been keeping us updated on what is happening in Bahrain, posted frantic tweets about her father, husband and brother-in-law being taken away by masked men. The following are her tweets, re-posted here with her permission:

THEY JUST CAME! They took my dad. My dad's blood is still on the stairs. They hit my dad so much. They beat him and he couldn't breath.

They broke the doors, all wearing masks. They took my father and husband and brother in law.

We all changed and my father told us to stay calm when they come, he told us not to interfere if they take him so they don;t hurt us.

They beat up my other brother-in-law, Mohammed Almaskati, and then threw him in a room and told him not to come out.

We knew they were coming, they had gone to my fathers apartment first and taken my cousin who lives in the same building.

We heard door of the building being broken, then the door of the apartment. My father went straight to the door, they started shouting.

The one shouting didn't speak Arabic. He kept telling my father to get on the floor. My father didn't get a chance to say anything.

My father is Human Rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, my husband is Wafi Almajed, and my brother in law is Hussain Ahmed Hussain.

They held my father from his neck & started dragging him down the steps. They lay him on the floor between the steps & started beating him.

He was covering his face while more than five men were beating him at the same time. I heard him say he cant breath.

I ran after them and told them to stop beating him. I tried to get to my father. They held me and kept shouting at me to shut up.

I said "He will go with you, you don't need to beat him". That's when I saw my husband and brothers-in-law being dragged down.

I started shouting "God will show you on Judgement day". I kept shouting "intooon 7a66ab jahanam"

One of them grabbed me from my shirt and started dragging me up the stairs. My mum was begging him to let me go.

Another was shouting, if she doesn't shut up bring her down too.

They pushed me, my mum & sisters in a room, and they shouted at us. One of them closed the door and then opened it real quick in my face.

Then they locked the doors on us, and took the men to the lower apartment, lay them on the ground and started beating them.

They kept referring to my father as "the target" and my husband "the son in law of the target".

My brother-in-law, Mohd Almasqati, who they left here, saw that my father was unconscious.

When they unlocked the door, I ran down & saw drops of blood on stairs. My father's blood, my brave heroic father's blood.

I knelt on the stairs and kissed the spot where I saw them beat him as he said he couldn't breath.

I am sitting in the mess, the door is broken and we can't close it. My youngest sister is trying to clean and weeping.

I will go sit with my mum. She keeps saying be prepared for the worse. If any1 can do anything for my dad, husband & brother-in-law, please do.


To find out more about Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, check out Wikipedia here.

For more information regarding the arrest, check Human Rights Watch.

To protest/appeal this travesty of justice contact:   

Please sign the petition here.

Three weeks earlier, on 21st March, 2011, at 3 a.m., @angryarabiya's uncle, Salah Alkhawaja, also a human rights activist, was taken away. To date no one knows his whereabouts, or whether he has been officially charged with any crime. No word has been heard from him.

@angryarabiaya reported that:  Before he was arrested they held guns to his children's heads, and they beat up his wife severely. Until now we don't know where he is. 

I went to police station to ask about him. They treated me very badly and threatened me and didn't let me leave for more than an hour.

@angryarabiya has been diligently reporting on the shooting and beating endured by innocent Bahraini people by hooded 'security' forces who raid the homes of bloggers and human rights activists, terrorizing families and dragging away those who dare to speak out in peace.

This is unacceptable autocratic control over people who speak up for freedom. Please circulate this information to everyone you can. We, who already have liberty, must be the voices for those who are trying to be silenced. Please keep Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, Salah, Alkhawaja, Wafi Almajed and Hussain Ahmed Hussain in your prayers.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bahareh Hedayat

Bahareh Hedayat   Photo Credit:
 Bahareh Hedayat is an Iranian student activist and campaigner for women's rights in Iran. She helped launch the One Million Signatures campaign in 2006 to apply pressure on the Iranian government to reform laws that discriminate against women. She was arrested and released in 2007 and again in 2008.

On December 31st, 2009, shortly after delivering a message to the European Student Union, Bahareh was again arrested and sentenced to 9.5 years in prison.

Currently she is serving her time in Evin Prison in Iran, well known for it's terrible living and healthcare conditions. She turned 30 years old on April 5, 2011, making her "A Woman of Thirty" in prison. She has been denied visits by family and friends and lives in isolation, awaiting the day when she will be released.

For more information please check out the following links:

United 4 Iran (comments about Bahareh from her friends) 

Free Bahareh Hedayat (facebook page)

Please keep Bahareh in your prayers, and share her story with people so she will not be forgotten. Visit the websites above and see how you can get involved with the movement to support and free her from prison. Until she is able to speak freely, we must be her voice in the world, to keep her in the public eye and bring about her release.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Emoodz" Mohammed AlMaskati

Emoodz, Mohammed AlMaskati    Photo Credit:
 On Thursday, March 31st, 2011, at 3 a.m., Mohammed AlMaskati, a 28 year old Bahraini banker, also known on Twitter as "Emoodz", was at the house of his inlaws when he was arrested and taken into custody. No charges were given for the arrest. Later in the day he rang his family to tell them he was ok. That was the last they have heard from him.

Emoodz was a blogger who spoke about the events unfolding in his country. According to Reporters Without Borders, the arrest came after threats from a member of the Bahraini Royal Family.

So far his family is in the dark as to what the charges are, or if there will be a trial.

Check out the information here.

Please keep Emoodz in your prayers, and spread the word of his detainment. We must not sit quietly by whilst honest people are imprisoned without cause.

UPDATE: On April 7, 2011, Emoodz was released from detention. Thank you for your prayers. Please remember there are many others being detained and all need our prayers.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Majid Tavakoli

Majid Tavakoli  Photo Credit:

Majid is a young Iranian student/activist who was arrested and imprisioned many times for leading protests. He was arrested for giving a speech at Student Day, December 7th, 2009, and sentenced to 8.5 years in prison. He has been on several dry hunger strikes in prison.

On February 2, 2011 he was tried once again, without notifying his family or lawyer, thus denying him a fair trial. He refused to cooperate with the judge's requests.

To date, his family has heard nothing from him since January 2011.

To view more information about Majid Tavakoli.

Please share this information, and keep the public aware that this travesty of justice is ongoing. We must be his voice and remind the world that he is alive, in prison, and needs our prayers and support.

More information will be forthcoming as it become available.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eman al Obeidy

Eman al Obeidy being taken away from hotel in Tripoli.  Photo Credit: CNN, from web

On March 26, Eman al Obeidy burst into a hotel full of journalists in Tripoli, Libya. Distraught and obviously injured, she alleged that she had been raped by 15 men. As the journalists attempted to obtain more details Gaddafi thugs arrived to take the woman away. A bag was thrown over her head at one point. Journalists who came to her aid were attacked by the thugs. She was taken out of the hotel, shoved into a car. That was the last time anyone has seen her.

Video and CNN write up of the event

Her mother says no one has seen Eman since she was taken away. Her mother was contacted by someone who tried to bribe her into convincing Eman to change her story.

The official response from government spokesmen has changed many times since her arrest.  They claim she is a prostitute, is mentally ill, is safe at home with her family. Now they claim she is sane, and they are pursuing criminal charges against her for false accusations.

According to her family she is a lawyer who is pursuing higher education. She has also encouraged Libyan youth to take action against the repression.

More information will be added as it become available.

UPDATE: According to NPR, Eman al Obeidy is no longer in custody. It seems, however, that she is not free. She has been threatened to keep quiet about what happened to her and is living in fear. NPR was not able to see her or verify her accounts. Here is a link to her story with NPR:  Listen to Eman al Obeidy talk with NPR

We want Eman al Obeidy to know that she is a very brave woman for standing up for her rights against this oppressive regime. Her courage is inspiring. She is a hero! Please pray for her, for justice and safety for her and her family.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Faces of Courage

With the fast changes happening worldwide, it is easy to forget all the men, women and children who work diligently to bring about human rights and political changes. As a result of their work, these prisoners of conscience are locked away, denied proper judicial process, and left to languish in horrid conditions.

The purpose of this blog is to keep these courageous people in public view, to show that we have not forgotten them.

Finding up-to-date information on prisoners of conscience via the internet is proving somewhat more daunting than first anticipated. If you know of anyone who is a prisoner of conscience, please leave a comment with details so we can investigate and include them on this site.

Thank you.