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28 Mar, 2008

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy : Small Island, Big Issues: Bahrain's King Visits Washington

By Simon Henderson March 24, 2008

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28 Mar, 2008

Open news: OUR 'WAR ON TERROR' ALLIES

One of the Arab world’s most widely respected non-governmental organizations is charging that at least fourteen Middle East and North African governments are systematically violating the civil liberties of their citizens – and most of them are close U.S. allies in the war on terror.

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27 Mar, 2008

GDN:UN to review rights report

UN to review rights report By MOHAMMED AL A'ALI Published: 27th March 2008 BAHRAIN human rights activists will raise issues related to "unconstitutional" constituency boundaries at a key meeting with the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. They are joining another group of activists from GCC states, who will meet officials from the European Union (EU) Commission and European Parliament in Brussels. The GCC group will highlight their reservations on their governments' approach to various human rights issues ahead of the signing of a Gulf-EU Free trade agreement.

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26 Mar, 2008

GDN:UK threatens to deport activists

UK threatens to deport activists By Geoffrey Bew MANAMA ANY Bahraini activists found guilty of using Britain as a platform from which to orchestrate unrest here could be deported, UK Home Office officials said yesterday. The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that some people had been using the shelter of asylum to form cells, which threaten security in both countries. A statement suggested vague British laws on political asylum were partly responsible for the problem and it was feared some people had forged "illegal contacts" with compatriots in Lebanon and Iran.

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25 Mar, 2008

GDN:UN call to halt poverty spread

UN call to halt poverty spread Published: 25th March 2008 POVERTY could spread across the Gulf if urgent action is not taken to reduce inflation, says a senior United Nations (UN) official. People from poorer background face being priced out of the market when buying property and foodstuff if the trend continues, said Bahrain-based UN resident co-ordinator and UN Development Programme resident representative Dr Khaled Alloush. "If you say that everybody now is eating well, if the price of food doubles many people will try to skip certain items," he told the GDN.

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25 Mar, 2008

GDN:Prisoner hits guard over a bar of soap

Prisoner hits guard over a bar of soap By MOHAMMED ASLAM Published: 25th March 2008 A FEMALE inmate who attacked a prison guard for refusing to give her toothpaste and soap has lost an appeal against a three-month extension to her jail sentence. The Filipina had claimed the policewoman actually assaulted her when she asked for toiletries. However, the High Criminal Appeal Court threw out her appeal against two convictions - one for verbally abusing a police officer and the other for assault.

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19 Mar, 2008

GDN:Asylum abuse in spotlight

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Asylum abuse in spotlight Published: 19th March 2008 BAHRAINI activists are allegedly using Britain as a platform from which to orchestrate unrest at home. They use the shelter of asylum to form cells which threaten security in Britian and Bahrain, says the Interior Ministry. It is feared some have forged illegal contacts with compatriots in Lebanon and Iran, the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

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19 Mar, 2008

Bahrain Tribune :Trafficking can’t be stopped ...

Trafficking can’t be stopped ... ... Unless poor and needy victims stop taking risk Titus Filio Contributor There are rackets. So are willing victims. The trafficking of poor and needy, including women and minors – to work in Bahrain remains a thorny issue for Bahrain and the countries supplying manpower. One reality that hounds anti-trafficking authorities on both sides is that all victims are not lured. There have been many willing partners in the underground cross-border trade.

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18 Mar, 2008

AFP:Bahrain court adjourns trial of riots accused

Bahrain court adjourns trial of riots accused MANAMA • A court yesterday adjourned the trial of 15 Bahrainis accused of involvement in violent clashes with police until April 16 to allow more time for torture charges to be examined. Court sources said a brief session was held before the adjournment to allow a medical commission to examine the charges that suspects had been physically abused during

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17 Mar, 2008

The Media Line: THE PLIGHT OF SRI LANKA’S ENSLAVED MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS AND SISTERS

THE PLIGHT OF SRI LANKA’S ENSLAVED MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS AND SISTERS

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16 Mar, 2008

GDN:Ill prisoner's family 'kept in the dark'

Ill prisoner's family 'kept in the dark' By RASHA AL QAHTANI Published: 16th March 2008 RELATIVES of a prisoner are pleading with authorities for information on his health after he was transferred to the BDF Hospital suffering from kidney problems. Abdulla Mohsin Abdulla, aged 30, was one of several men arrested in connection with violent clashes between police and protesters in December. His sister Ezdihar says he developed kidney problems in custody and has since been admitted to the BDF Hospital.

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16 Mar, 2008

GDN:Protesters hope to end homes row

Protesters hope to end homes row By RASHA AL QAHTANI Published: 16th March 2008 RESIDENTS protesting for sole rights to a new government housing project say they are hoping for a positive end to the saga next week. More than 1,000 families from Nuwaidrat, Sanad, Ma'ameer and Eker have been taking turns to stage a vigil at the site of the development for the past three weeks. They held talks with the Central Municipal Council and MPs on Friday and are now hoping for a meeting with deputy governor Mubarak Al Fadhel to discuss the issue.

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14 Mar, 2008

Reporters Without Borders: Bahrain under watch in the First Online Free Expression Day

Reporters Without Borders has launched the first Online Free Expression Day today. http://www.rsf.org/print.php3?id_article=26086 “From now on, we will organise activities every 12 March to condemn cyber-censorship throughout the world,” Reporters Without Borders said. “A response of this kind is needed to the growing tendency to crack down on bloggers and to close websites."

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14 Mar, 2008

Newindpress: Bahrain strike by 1,300 ends after pay hike

Friday March 14 2008 00:00 IST PTI DUBAI: A Five-day strike by over 1,300 workers, including Indians, ended after their employers accepted their demand for an increase in salary. Labour ministry Under-secretary Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Abdulla al Khalifa, who chairs a new government committee charged with mediating disputes resulting in labour strikes, said that all parties had reached an agreement on Wednesday.

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14 Mar, 2008

Khaleej Times : Doctors' access to detainees sought in Bahrain

By our correspondent 14 March 2008 MANAMA -Bahraini human rights activist called upon the Public Persecution to allow doctors to visit detention centres to know the truth behind allegations of physical and sexual tortures against detainees. Member of Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) Dr Sabika Al Najar said that some detainees, especially those who were arrested recently for riot activities had been complaining during their court hearings of ill-treatments they are receiving at detention centres.

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12 Mar, 2008

BahrainTribune : Project to prevent human-trafficking

Project to prevent human-trafficking Pilot programme to assist govt, raise awareness Ajit John Chief Reporter A pilot project starts today to assist the authorities in capacity building and raising awareness to counter trafficking in human beings. This follows the opening of an office of the International Organisation for Migration yesterday. The project, the first of its kind in the region, will focus on implementing a training and awareness programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reinforce protection of foreign workforce in the Kingdom.

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12 Mar, 2008

GDN:Clamp on trafficking

Clamp on trafficking By REBECCA TORR Published: 12th March 2008 A DATABASE of human trafficking victims in Bahrain will be launched with the support of the United Nations (UN), it was revealed yesterday. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with ministries and other stakeholders, will set up the database over the next nine months. It will contain information on the victims such as their job, age, nationality, abuse suffered, legal outcomes and other details.

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12 Mar, 2008

GDN:Labour warning

Labour warning By SOMAN BABY Published: 12th March 2008 Development projects in GCC countries are to be hit hard because of the expected shortage of five million workers over the coming five years, it was revealed. The total value of active and planned projects in the Gulf region is estimated at $1.9 trillion (BD7,18bn), said a study presented at a forum organised by the Project Management Institute (PMI). There is an acute shortage of skilled workers in the Gulf, said PMI Arabian Gulf Chapter vice-president Abdulmajeed Al Gassab.

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12 Mar, 2008

GDN:Police claims denied

Police claims denied Published: 12th March 2008 A DEFENCE lawyer yesterday attacked "contradictory" evidence against a 22-year-old Bahraini accused of hurling a Molotov cocktail at a police vehicle. Police say the night attack involved around 20 masked youths, yet it is claimed that they could still recognise the defendant, even in the dark, said Isa Ibrahim Mohammed. One police witness says the defendant hurled the firebomb at the left side of the vehicle, another threw it at the right side, Mr Mohammed told the High Criminal Court.

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11 Mar, 2008

US State Department : Bahrain Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2007

Bahrain Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2007 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor March 11, 2008 Bahrain is a monarchy with a population of approximately 725,000, approximately 430,000 of whom are citizens, according to official figures. King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa is the head of state and all branches of government. The king appoints a cabinet of ministers, half of whom are members of the Al‑Khalifa royal family. The 2002 constitution reinstated a legislative body with one elected chamber, the Council of Deputies, and one appointed chamber, the Shura Council. All political societies participated in the November and December 2006 parliamentary and municipal elections. Trained local observers did not report significant problems during the elections, although there were allegations that the government manipulated general poll center vote counts in some cases and gerrymandered political districts. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces.

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11 Mar, 2008

GDN:Laws 'guarantee workers' rights'

Laws 'guarantee workers' rights' By MOHAMMED AL A'ALI Published: 11th March 2008 LAWS in Bahrain have been amended to further protect the rights of labourers, Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi told Shura Council members yesterday. He said that the government came up with various laws and legislations to ensure that labourers are being treated humanely, fairly and equally. "Bahrain made several amendments to its law to match international and regional labour standards," said Dr Al Alawi.

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11 Mar, 2008

GDN:UN report praises Bahrain's progress

UN report praises Bahrain's progress Published: 11th March 2008 BAHRAIN is being urged in a United Nations human rights report to scrap its amnesty for officials allegedly involved in abuses before February 2001. The UN Human Rights Council praises Bahrain for stamping out such abuses, but criticises the "blanket amnesty" for previous alleged violations. There should be no "immunity for officials who have perpetrated or acquiesced in torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment", says an advanced, unedited version of the council's Universal Periodic Review.

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10 Mar, 2008

GDN:Families vow to continue homes demo

Families vow to continue homes demo By RASHA AL QAHTANI Published: 10th March 2008 A PROTEST over the allocation of government houses continued for the 18th day yesterday as families persisted with a sit-in that started almost three weeks ago. More than 1,000 families from Nuwaidrat, Sanad, Ma'ameer and Eker are demanding that homes being built in a BD21 million housing scheme in their area be given to them.

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10 Mar, 2008

GDN:Workers protest again for better pay

Workers protest again for better pay By BEGENA P PRADEEP Published: 10th March 2008 MORE than 600 workers at a contracting company downed tools for the second time in 10 months yesterday to demand pay rises. It was Bahrain's 12th strike in five weeks and was staged by workers at the Mohammed Jalal Contracting Company. They previously went on strike in May last year, but returned to work three days later after management agreed to improve salaries. The workers originally demanded a BD15 food allowance to be added to their basic salaries, which the company apparently agreed to.

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10 Mar, 2008

Arabian Business.com : Bahrain slammed over women's rights

by Joel Bowman on Sunday, 09 March 2008 RIGHTS ISSUES: The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights slammed the government on Saturday over issues regarding the rights of women in society. (Getty Images) A Bahrain rights group on Saturday slammed the government for failing to address the plight of women in Gulf state, claiming women were still widely discriminated against and enjoyed few freedoms in general society.

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9 Mar, 2008

GDN:Masked rioters clash with police

Masked rioters clash with police By MANDEEP SINGH MANAMA: Scores of masked youngsters yesterday fought pitched battles with riot police in Jidhafs after setting fire to used furniture and garbage bins on the Budaiya Highway. The trouble began at around 5pm when some youngsters emerged from the bylanes of Jidhafs and set fire to furniture in the middle of the highway. They then set fire to garbage bins as riot police arrived on the scene and chased them away. They re-emerged a few minutes later, pelting the police with stones. Molotov cocktails were also thrown at the police.

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9 Mar, 2008

HRC Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Report About Bahrain

UNITED NATIONS A General Assembly Distr. LIMITED A/HRC/WG.6/1/BHR/2 [date] Original: ENGLISH HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review First session Geneva, 7-18 April 2008 ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 25 February 2008 COMPILATION PREPARED BY THE OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 15(B) OF RESOLUTION 5/1 OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Bahrain

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7 Mar, 2008

BAHRAIN SUMMARY PREPARED BY THE OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL- Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review - Geneva, 7-18 April 2008 25 February 2008 Bahrain This report is a summary of 12 stakeholders’ submissions1 to the universal periodic review. It follows the structure of the general guidelines adopted by the Human Rights Council. It does not contain any opinions, views or suggestions of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), nor any judgment or determination in relation to specific claims. Information included therein has been systematically referenced in endnotes and, to the extent possible, original text submitted has not been altered. Lack of information or focus on specific issues is due to the absence of submissions by stakeholders regarding these particular issues. All submissions received are available on OHCHR website. The periodicity of the review for the first cycle being of four years, information reflected in this report mostly relates to events occurred after 1 January 2004.

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7 Mar, 2008

GDN: Bahrain 'has opened door to Press freedom'

Published: 7th March 2008 BAHRAIN has opened the door to Press freedom, but needs to do much more, says an international watchdog. It must decriminalise Press offences, end the government monopoly on broadcasting and push forward reforms, says Paris-based Reporters Without Borders. Journalists in Bahrain have more freedom than in many other Gulf countries, but the situation is far from satisfactory, the organisation says in a report released yesterday, following a visit to the country last month.

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7 Mar, 2008

Bahrain Tribune: UN rights report claims bias against citizens

Sandeep Singh Grewal Staff Reporter The government is depriving a large number of people of their rights and opportunities and forcing their exodus to other GCC nations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says in a report. The observation is based on shadow reports by 12 stakeholders, including Bahrain Haq Movement of Liberties and Democracy and a joint report by the Bahrain Human Rights Society and the defunct Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

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6 Mar, 2008

SUMMARY PREPARED BY THE OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER

UNITED NATIONS A General Assembly Distr. LIMITED A/HRC/WG.6/1/BHR/3 [DATE] Original: ENGLISH HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review First session Geneva, 7-18 April 2008 ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION 25 February 2008 SUMMARY PREPARED BY THE OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 15 (C) OF RESOLUTION 5/1 OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Bahrain This report is a summary of 12 stakeholders’ submissions1 to the universal periodic review. It follows

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6 Mar, 2008

Reporters Without Borders: Bahrain -Turning promises into reality

Bahrain is at a crossroads.This small island state of less that 700 sq km has seen significant progress in respect for human rights, including press freedom, since Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa took over as emir on his father’s death in 1999, but a lot remains to be done. At the same time, the regional environment is fraught.The war in Iraq and the heightened violence between Shiites and Sunnis have had an impact on the emirate, which became a kingdom in 2001. Saudi Arabia, which allows Bahrain to pump oil from a field yielding around 140,000 barrels a day, is a powerful neighbour that could prove touchy.And the demographic balance between the state’s two largest communities, the majority Shiites and the minority Sunnis, who are in power, leads to tension.

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2 Mar, 2008

HAQ : The State gone Hysterical

New Scores of Arrests and Victims of State Violence including 9yr Girl

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2 Mar, 2008

BBC:Bahrain Shia call for activists' release

Bahrain Shia call for activists' release By Bill Law Reporter, BBC Crossing Continents Human rights activists in the Gulf state of Bahrain are calling on the government to release 15 protesters jailed in late December. Abduljalil Alsingace says his brother has been tortured in detention Abduljalil Alsingace They say the prisoners, who are Shia Muslims, have been subjected to torture and sexual abuse while in jail.

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2 Mar, 2008

Bahrain Tribune :Protest over suspension

Protest over suspension Reinstate Najeeha urgently, demand supporters Sandeep Singh Grewal Staff Reporter Several unionists gathered yesterday in front of the Muharraq Post Office to show their solidarity to Postal Workers’ Union (PWU) Vice President, Najeeha Abdul Ghaffar.

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1 Mar, 2008

India puts Bahrain minimum wage plan on hold

Dubai (PTI): India has decided to put on hold a proposed measure fixing the minimum wage for its nationals taking up employment in Bahrain following resistance from employers and the government in the Gulf country. The proposed initiative by the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry to protect unskilled Indian workers by fixing a minimum wage of BD100 (around Rs 10,481) was scheduled to come into force from Saturday. However, an official said that a final decision would now be taken on March 3.

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1 Mar, 2008

Khaleej Times: Proposed Bahrain law allowing expats to change job opposed

By Suad Hamada (Our correspondent) 1 March 2008 MANAMA — The right of foreign workers to shift jobs without the permission of their sponsor to be affective from July might not continue for long as a lawmaker submitted yesterday a proposal to impose restrictions to such privileges. The labour market reforms law to be activated in July will give expatriates the right to seek better employment services by joining new companies without the need for no-objection-letter from the sponsors.

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