For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
“Witness Bahrain” Launched One Year After Start of Uprising
WASHINGTON - AP is reporting: “Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain are streaming toward a site they seek to occupy for the one-year anniversary of their uprising in the Gulf kingdom.”
The Bahrani regime has been denying visas to media and human rights workers ahead of the anniversary of the start of the uprising.
NABEEL RAJAB,[currently in Bahrain, eight hours ahead of ET] nabeel.rajab at gmail.com
HUWAIDA ARRAF, [also in Bahrain] huwaida.arraf at gmail.com
Rajab is president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Arraf, a U.S. citizen, is with Witness Bahrain, a new initiative that released the following statement: “‘Witness Bahrain‘ is a group of international observers, primarily from the United States, who have responded to the call of Bahraini human rights activists to witness their revolution, stand with them at protests, in hospitals and in villages, and to tell the world what they see. The government of Bahrain has denied entry to a number of prominent journalists and human rights workers in the lead-up to the one-year anniversary of the massive and ongoing pro-democracy movement.
“People here fear that the government of Bahrain’s attempt to keep out foreign observers signals an impending escalation of violence. As such, our presence here is all the more crucial. In the coming days and weeks, Witness Bahrain will stand with people taking to the streets to demand democracy, equality and respect for human rights. Witness Bahrain will also maintain a presence in villages active in pro-democracy protests which are being subjected to night raids, tear-gassing and other attacks by the police. We call on the Bahraini government to refrain from attacking peaceful protesters; however, should the government choose to continue using violence, we will be present to witness.”
HUSAIN ABDULLA, mohajer12 at comcast.net
Abdulla is director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. He is has been involved in the initiative as well.
A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.