Friday, 5 October 2012

Nabeel Rajab - Bahrain buries its mother

News broke on the morning of 4th October 2012 that the dear mother of Nabeel Rajab, director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights had passed away during the night, whilst he was locked up in prison for a Tweet. He was allowed to attend her funeral that day but then forbidden to meet people for condolences the day following despite being told he would be given 3 days for mourning, due to the following speech. 

"I thank all those who came to give their condolences. And I call upon everyone who has a shred of love towards me or my mother, who died crying wanting to see me. But regrettably..this oppressive regime, this tyrannical regime has prevented me from being with her during the last moments of her life..It is my request and that of my mother for the good people of Bahrain not to retreat. We have rightful demands, rightful values, rightful principles. This regime is dictatorial, this regime is oppressive and it is our duty, legitimate and moral duty to resist injustice and strive for democracy. And I call on everyone, everyone to attend every protest and specially those held in Manama (the capital)..that is our greatest challenge. I call on every man and woman, and I am following up from inside prison on all the news. In the last protest I haven't seen women protesting with Sheik Ali Salman in the newspaper or maybe the picture that was posted didn't show it clearly but its my request and my appeal to all those heroes to be present in Manama and everywhere. In defence of their rights, dignity and principles. And this is our challenge, if we couldn't manage to earn our rights during this period we never will. We will prove that by God willing even if they throw us in prison or kill us or our families we will not retreat and we will be victorious against this oppressive regime, God willing." Nabeel Rajab speaking at mother's funeral.
Nabeel was very close to his mother, who was always waiting for his safe return after demonstrations.

Nabeel says his last goodbyes to his dear mother.
Despite his grief shows his strength at his mother's funeral.

Zainab Alkhawaja @angryarabiya released after 2 months in prison just the night before after being severely beaten by police, at Nabeel's side. She is always to be found standing next to the victim of Bahrain, sharing their pain. The epitome of humanity and compassion.
Thousands attended the funeral.

Nabeel's mother symbolised a mother of all the oppressed people in Bahrain, and all the people felt great sorrow at her funeral.

Banner at Manama protest that night.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


My friend Zainab Alkhawaja is in prison in Bahrain. It's a real honour to call her my friend because she is also my heroine. We worked together on the #Eye4Freedom campaign.

She is such an inspiration. I wrote this poem for her:


Just one beat
Of her heart
Would knock a thousand
To their knees
If you could hear
Her pain
Understand the suffering
She sees

Every martyr
Every injury
Every case of abuse
She is there
Feels it all
But she never gets used
To the tears
Which will fall
With the angels
On and on
Watch the tragedy
Yet her fears
Have all gone

Its all the same
Big prison
Little prison
Hear her shout the name
Can you feel her pain?
Just one beat
Of her heart
Would bring you all to shame

Is the weight
Of this burden
Now too great?
Have you lost all faith
In the human race?
Are you tired of fighting
This darkness unrelenting?
Are we too late?
Can we change fate?

Just keep breathing dear Zainab
Just keep beating your heart
Listening now
Don’t give up on us
Together we can start
We can pick this thing up
Then we’ll tear it apart
And freedom will come through
Your pain
Yes freedom will come to
And come from

by Jamila  Hanan

I also built her this website

@AngryArabiya is actually Zainab's Twitter name, so she can have the domain name when she is free. I hope we can continue to build the website when she gets out because I think the whole world should know about her. We could start an AngryArabiya club. I know lots of young ladies that would aspire to be like Zainab. I think we could sell AngryArabiya t-shirts and use the money to help in the struggle against injustice.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Rohingya No More

Cartoon by @CarlosLatuff

I woke up this morning all cosy in bed
And a poem in my head
About another world
Behind my closed door
Where they got no cosy beds to sleep in
All they got is the floor
And mud, mud, mud,
Rising in the flood
No blanket to cover their children
If their children are still alive
Because they might not be
Some have been chopped up before their eyes

Sorry this poem should have come with a warning
It's easy to understand
I got a simple vocabulary
So this can be read in every land
But don't be fooled into thinking
I'm writing something nice
This poem ain't nice at all
This is a nightmare
It is called life

Life on Earth
This is what it's come to
But if you live in the West
I'm sorry you don't have a clue
So you might find my poem gives you a start
I got a lot to tell you so I'll begin with just one part
I'll start with the Rohingya
Because they are on my mind
This morning
Without warning
This nightmare woke up with me
but I knew it was a reality

Whilst I was fast asleep
More people died in that mud knee deep
Maybe they just starved to death
Or maybe they died of disease
It could have been an untreated injury
Or a new slaughter where the parents cried out Please!
Please don't hurt my baby, he's  my only son!
And my daughter she's the light of my life.
Oh my God what have you done!
How did humanity get to stoop so low?
Where are the hearts God gave us?
Does anybody know?
Can you even feel your heart behind your drunken stupor?
Have the tranquilizers numbed all your pain? Are the holidays all you live for?

Someone said I should write a poem
Sorry I write like a kid
But like I said this rhyme comes with a warning
Might not be one for the bed time story

The Rohingya
They live in Burma
Which was renamed to Myanmar
By the military Junta
I call it Burma in my Twitter stream
Because it uses less characters
And that's what matters most to me

The Rohingya were the forgotten people
No human rights and no voice
But you won't know that if your media of choice
is CNN or Sky News or BBC
But now we got the Internet it's easier to see
What lies behind the filter bubble
If you have the heart to stomach the trouble

Lived in the Arakan for centuries
A fact denied by Ne Win dictator from the military
he stole their right to a nationality
in 1982. They are officially
The most persecuted minority
In the World
Said the United Nations
When it suited them
Before Aung San Suu Kyi
And democracy
The UN said that, so quote that, it's official
Unlike the thousands of unverified deaths
Which can't possibly exist
They simple are not real
Because Thein Sein the new era president
Says there's only seventy eight deaths and
he's our document.
He's about democracy you see
Never mind his connection to the military.

Persecuted for years
No human rights just fears
More than 30 years of persecution
Less than one human right of 30 in a resolution
Forced to work as slaves on their own land
Can you imagine that?
And do you even give a dam?
Can't travel from place to place without a permit
Better for them to live like a hermit

They lost their right to marry
and have children as you wish
But the sea was their friend
And at least they could fish
But even fish started dying
Due to underwater mining
And the sea become their enemy
swallowing them up as they tried to flee
The horrors that were on the land
But maybe sea remained their best friend
Since it was always waiting patiently
To put an end to their misery.

Thank God for the sea that fed them
and sustained their lives for a while
And for the sea that took those lives away
when the lives could no longer smile.

Did you hear the man crying out for mercy?
'When will people like you bring us justice and peace?'
His wife begged for poison to end the misery.
But for many the pain did not cease.

It's not the first time the government tried to wipe them out
They tried a few times before you might have heard a shout
from a few
in 1992
just a quarter million fled their land
to Bangladesh who they thought was their friend
But over the border there was no warm welcome
Just a lot more mud
and some sticks they call shelter
The man behind that job I read was Than Shwe
But he didn't finish the job off so they are trying again today.
Should have taken him to the ICC
For war crimes years ago
Then these people wouldn't have to flee
Like they are trying now but with nowhere to go.

This minority gonna get the flick
Sorry but the land needs clearing real quick
Than Shwe is running out of time
For the Shwe Gas Pipeline.
Starting in Arakan
Crossing over to the people of Kachin
I've not even started talking about that
Another group of people about to get the sack
Gotta get that oil and gas pumping up to China
Like blood through our veins keeps us living finer
It's a win win situation
Even Ban Ki told us so
Seems he forgot about the Rohingya though.

It always starts with a rape you see
Stir up the tension between the ethnicity
But when leaflets are distributed across the nation
Encouraging the hate and extermination
You know this thing didn't just happen naturally
Police stand watching even though they can see
The houses burning and the knives cutting through
Innocent bodies, flesh, sinew
It's not a sight I'd like to see
But how would I feel if it was happening to me?
How would I like to see my house burnt to the ground?
How would I like to listen to the sound?
But don't talk about the children, please not the children
After they were hit
50 to 60 of them thrown in a pit
Buried alive that's what he said
The old man survivor when he arrived half dead
In the middle of the night
Did  my ears hear me right?
Surely not, play it again,
Tell me he's lying coz I can't take such pain.

It's a dirty word
Concentration camps
How absurd
These are emotive words you know
We don't want to hear them better you go
We'll label you as a mad
Then we can all ignore the bad
Go talk to Amnesty
They are very good you'll see
Tell them all about it
Then you can sleep at night coz u done your bit

Genocide: worse than war
The best documentary I watched by far
Find it on YouTube if you care
After watching don't forget to share
Mass murder is a political act
Could be prevented if you care about that
Which country will put national interest aside
And argue first for humanity with pride.

It is a desperate situation
This evil manifestation
Everyone in Burma it seems
Don't see the Rohingya as human beings
Why is it because you don't look like their look?
Skin too dark? Reading a different book?
Or are you just superior
to hold these people so inferior?
Its not them acting like animals it's you
when you surround their houses
with knives to stick through
the walls what do you think
is that human behaviour?
Have you thought about your soul
and who is going to save you?

So what do we do? just leave them there?
That is their land, their right.
Sitting ducks waiting patiently.
This is their plight.
They been denied so much already
Surely they got the right to remain
On their land where they can die in vain
And politicians can talk for sure
After a while Rohingya no more.

by Jamila Hanan

Find out more here: Tears of the Rohingya

Monday, 13 August 2012

Tears of the Rohingya

There's something about crying that reaches across borders and appeals to humanity. There are many different types of cries, but the cry of a completely broken soul is the most piercing of all.

The first cry I heard from the Rohingya was from this boy as he fled his burning home. Maybe it is because I am a mother that his cry tore my soul apart?

Then there were these girls on a boat, as they tried to seek shelter. Days at sea in the rain, hungry, tired, traumatised, unsure of their fate.

Then there were these 140 men and boys pleading to be let in to Bangladesh but turned back to sea with a bottle of water.

There's a girl in this video that cries as she tells how all of her relatives were killed.

My friend interviewed a Rohingyan man living in the crisis area in Myanmar. I listened to the recorded interview. He was sobbing as he pleaded for help 'please try to save our lives, please, try to save our lives'. Here you can read some more of what he said.

Here a man arriving at a refugee camp in Bangladesh (one of the lucky few that made it through) cries as he recalls how 50 to 60 children were buried alive in a mass grave.

This lady asks where is the love in the world?

And then there was this man, pleading for help to the Turkish foreign minister, with the lovely first lady of Turkey, who felt their pain and responded in the only way that a person with humanity should.

So what is it that is making even grown men cry? 
Human Rights Watch summarises what has been happening here.

You can read the full Human Rights Watch report here and if you want to know a bit about the history that led up to this then read their last report from 2009.

This situation falls nothing short of genocide. Please contact your members of parliament and ask them to call for urgent action to end this ethnic cleansing before it is too late.

Please also share the following video to Twitter and Facebook and visit to find out what else you can do.

If you want to learn more you can read some of my research notes here.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Genocide? of the Rohingya in Burma

What looks like it may be genocide currently taking place, to the Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan State of Burma, has recently been drawn to my attention. I'm going to post my notes here as I try to get up to speed on this topic. I'm doing this because according to a source on the ground in Burma, every day more people are dying, and I want to pass on what I find as soon as I find it.

There is also news coming in from the ground and I will post updates on that soon. Word is that the most urgent need right now is for food, with people starving to death every day.

What I did not include below are the many numerous propaganda videos that are out on YouTube painting the Rohingyan people as terrorists. When researching I noted that several of these were uploaded to YouTube just before the violence broke out (posted around 5th June). I have seen similar such attempts by an oppressive regime (in Bahrain) to also paint the persecuted people as terrorists, therefore I am familiar with the style of such propaganda.

Definition of Genocide

Genocide Watch
Genocide Watch is issuing a Genocide Emergency Alert for the Rohingya of Myanmar

April 2010 Restless Beings
A'ar Zaati Rohingya - 'We are Rohingyan'

March 2012 The Pullitzer Centre
Meet Greg Constantine: The Stateless Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh

Arakan / Rohingya News 2012

11 June Al Jazeera
Violence erupts in Myanmar

11 June Reuters
Myanmar burning: dramatic images of mob violence - Rough Cuts

12 June The Nation
Myanmar turns down Malaysian aid for strife-torn Rakhine state

12 June Human Rights Watch
Bangladesh: Open Borders for Refugees Fleeing Burma

12 June UNHCR
Amid violence in Myanmar, UNHCR calls on Bangladesh to keep its borders open

12 June AFP
'Dozens dead' in Myanmar religious violence

12 June AFP
Troops patrol strife-hit Myanmar state

13 June AlJazeera
Inside Story - What is behind Myanmar's ethnic unrest? 

14 June AFP
Myanmar sectarian unrest displaces more than 30,000

14 June AFP
Bangladesh refuses more Rohingya fleeing Myanmar

15 June Human Rights Watch
Bangladesh: Letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding obligations not to reject refugees 

15 June Myanmar International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Myanmar Red Cross Society provides emergency assistance during Rakhine unrest

15 June Reuters
Left Behind In Myanmar's March to Democracy - Reuters Investigates

17 June AFP
Dozens dead after unrest in Myanmar's Rakhine state

18 June MSF
Myanmar: Victims of Recent Clashes Must Have Access to Health Care

19 June Amnesty International
Document - Myanman: Meet immediate humanitarian needs and address systemic discrimination

19 June UNHCR
UNHCR gears up for humanitarian response in Myanmar 

21 June AlJazeera
Muslim Rohingya protest in Bangkok

22nd June The Guardian
Rohingya refugees leave Burma to seek help in Bangladesh – video

22 June UNHCR
UNHCR alarmed at fragile security situation in Rakhine State

24th June Perdana Global Peace Foundation
Press Release: Persecution of the Rohingya

25th June Channel 4 News
Dangerous Waters for Burma’s Rohingya Minority (with video)

25 June AlJazeera
Myanmar's Rohingya forced back to sea

26th June Channel 4 News
Refugees ‘should go back to Burma’ (with video)

26th June The Guardian
Ethnic violence mars transition to democracy for Rohingya in Burma

29 June UNHCR
UNHCR redeploys further staff to Myanmar's Rakhine State as relative calm returns

29th June The Guardian
Burma's Rohingya refugees find little respite in Bangladesh (with video)

29 June Mizzima
12 aid workers detained in Rakhine State                         

2nd July Restless Beings
Voice The Rohingya Protest

4th July Restless Beings
Concentration Camps and Systematic Rape - Rohingya Under Persecution

5 July Mizzima 
Mass arrests of Rohingya in Rakhine State: BROUK

6 July Agence France Presse
10 aid workers held in Myanmar: UN

6 July Mizzima
Muslim states ask Suu Kyi to help end sectarian violence

6 July Mizzima
Biased police response to sectarian violence in Arakan: HRW  

6 July Mizzima
10 U.N. staff still in custody in Rakhine State 

9 July Burma Campaign UK
Situation in Rakhine (Arakan) State and the Rule of Law - Statement by 34 Organisations

12 July NYTimes (Op Ed)
Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar

12 July The Platform
Burma’s Rohingya: A Denial of Citizenship and Human Rights

12 July AFP
US opens up investment in Myanmar

12 July Mizzima
Burma’s Human Rights Commission issues statement on Arakan State

12 July Mizzima
U.N. employees appear in Burmese Court: report 

13 July Reuters
10 U.N. staff and aid workers detained in Myanmar, some charged   

13 July Mizzima News
U.N. rejects Burma’s offer to resettle Rohingya                    

13 July The Guardian
Burma 'creating humanitarian crisis' with displacement camps in Arakan

13 July UNHCR
High Commissioner for Refugees wraps up mission to Myanmar, Thailand
High Commissioner Guterres in Thailand/Myanmar mission Briefing Notes

14 July Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
Rohingya Raised at ASEAN Meeting

14 July Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar

14 July Press TV
Suu Kyi silent on Muslims cleansing in Myanmar

15 July Financial Times
UN aid workers face Myanmar riot charges

15 July Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
ISNA Calls for Human Rights for Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar 

16 July Mizzima
Burma asked to explain UN workers arrests 

Kachin State

The notes below relate to abuses taking place in the Kachin State which are in the North state of Burma, included here to help with the understanding of the police and human rights violations of the Burmese government.

18 Oct 2011 Human Rights Watch
Burma: Army Committing Abuses in Kachin State

25 Jan Burma Campaign UK
Burmese Army Shoots Pregnant Teacher In Kachin State

15 March Human Rights Watch
Where Myanmar Keeps Trampling Rights

20 March Human Rights Watch
“Untold Miseries” Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State

20 March Human Rights Watch
Burma: Reforms Yet to Reach Kachin State

10 April Burma Campaign UK
UN Security Council Must Address War Crimes in Burma

11 April Human Rights Watch
Aid Sent to Civilians in Burma's Kachin State

18 May Burma Campaign UK
Gang-rape in church - impunity for sexual violence in Kachin conflict continues

Human Rights in Burma (in general)

2011 ICRC (International Committee Red Cross)
Myanmar Annual Report

23 Aug 2011 Human Rights Watch
Burma: A Fool's Paradise

25 Jul 2011 Burma Campaign
Burma Briefing No 14: War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Burma

31 Aug 2011 Burma Campaign UK
5,000 Call On William Hague To Secure Burma Crimes Inquiry

6 Sep 2011 Burma Campaign UK
Civil society gathers to brief EU diplomats on necessity for UN Commission of Inquiry for Burma

4 Nov 2011 Burma Campaign UK
UN General Assembly Fails To Act On Crimes Against Humanity In Burma

6 Jan Human Rights Watch
Burma's Prisons Should Not Be Off Limits to International Monitors

28 April Human Rights Watch
Burma: Ban Should Press for Lasting Reforms 

16 May Burma Campaign UK

25 May Amnesty International
Document - Myanmanr: Revisiting Human Rights in Myanmar

26 Jun Human Rights Watch
Report: Isolated in Yunnan (Kachin Refugees from Burma in China’s Yunnan Province)

11 July Burma Campaign UK
UK Government Report:  Human Rights Abuses Continue In Burma 

16 July Mizzima
U.S. investment rules won’t deter abuses: HRW

16 July IRIN
MYANMAR: Access to health a worry in Rakhine State

International Politics / Interests

6 April Human Rights Watch
The Burma Road to 2015

28 May The Statesman
India to aid Myanmar’s democratic process

8 June Reuters
Australia lifts sanctions against Myanmar, doubles aid

20 June Reuters
4 keys to investing in Myanmar - Decoder

6 July Mizzima
Thein Sein to visit Thailand on July 22

10 July Mizzima
Top U.S. trade officials heading to Burma

12 July Mizzima
U.S. companies now free to invest in Burma

13 July Mizzima
U.S business leaders to meet in Rangoon on Saturday

13 July Mizzima
Thein Sein, Clinton to meet in Siem Reap

13 July Associated Press
Clinton talks with reformist Myanmar president 

14 July Arakan Oil Watch
Canada announces embassy in Burma amid rush for country’s oil, natural resources


I have heard it suggested that the construction of a gas pipeline in the Arakan state maybe contributing to the unrest so have included news on this below to help understand the context in which the unrest is happening. I have also been told by an oil investigational journalist that in the early 90's there was a similar 'land clearance' for a pipeline in Burma that took place with 'sectarian' violence blamed, people put into camps, and killed - not had time to look into that properly yet  - someone reading this might?

10 Oct 2011 MENAFN
China-Burma Oil Pipeline Section 4 Starts Building in Oct

26 Oct 2011 Narinjara News
No plan to use Arakan gas for Arakan

26 Jan 2012 Narinjara News
2 Indian workers injured on gas pipeline construction site 

7 June Narinjara News
Public Frustration Growing Over Gas Pipeline Project in Arakan

18 June Mizzima
Ban Ki-moon called Burma gas pipeline a ‘win-win’

19 June The Wall Street Journal (the Dow Jones)
India, China to Explore Energy Assets

29 June Arakan Oil Watch
Farmers complain over gas pipe line

5 July AsiaEye
Sino-Indian Energy Cooperation in Burma: Toward an Integrated Asian Energy Market?


Carlos Latuff


Restless Beings Petition:
Lobbying The British Government: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar

ASEAN Freedoom Flotilla to Liberate Rohingya to be Launched

Press Conference

Restless Beings Press Conference
Media Statement - Support for Rohingya

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Looking for a Logo

I'm building a new website/campaign for the University of Bahrain students who are currently in prison or on trial for peacefully protesting in the uprising last year. The website will be called

I have invited Bahrainis to make a logo for the campaign. I am hoping for a strong logo that will shrink nicely into an avatar since we will also use in on Twitter and Facebook. It will ideally suggest the relationship to the students in jail, and Bahrain.

Another campaign I set up recently to draw attention to the problem of eye injuries in Bahrain is which has a very strong logo, also designed by a Bahraini, that I feel works well.

Below are the designs I have received so far. If you would like to provide constructive feedback please use the comments below.






If you would like to submit your own logo to be considered please email it to me via before Friday 22nd June

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

In Dublin shouting for human rights and the medics of Bahrain

This is me shouting for the medics and the oppressed people of Bahrain in Dublin yesterday. The medics should received their final verdict this Thursday. Hopefully they should be able to start rebuilding their lives after that. Can't imagine the Bahraini government are so crazy as to think of sending any of them back to prison, are they??? Because if they did, not only would it be wrong (right or wrong doesn't seem to be an issue for them) but it would have the whole world in uproar (and I can't imagine that they'd want that). However, there are four medics still in prison, and they also need freeing, urgently, and there's 3 more I know about that have been messed around really bad with their studies who need to be able to complete their studies without any further delay - or else this campaign is going to have to continue.

Yes by the way, that is a head scarf on my head. And one other thing, I just changed my name, to Jamila Hanan. Long story. Make of it what you want. Might have to give my blog a new name!

Transcript (with Arabic translation below):
I have travelled here today from the UK to stand with you in solidarity for the oppressed the people of Bahrain.
I can think of no better place to do this
because this is a land where people understand the importance of freedom,
and who understand the struggle against oppression and pain.
This time last year, I didn't know very much about Bahrain.
I didn't know where it was.
It's a little island next to Saudi Arabia.
It's got a small population, just over one million.
And in that island there's many hundreds of thousands of oppressed people that live under a dictator regime. The Al Khalifa regime.
The prime minister there has been prime minister for over 40 years.
He is the longest standing prime minister in the world.
He rules the country with his family, his rich family,
who do not want democracy for fear that they will lose their riches and their power.
Last year in February, starting February 14th,
the people of Bahrain gathered at the Pearl Roundabout.
They just wanted their human rights.
They just wanted freedom of speech.
They wanted freedom from torture and arbitrary arrest.
And they wanted the right to choose their own government.
That's all they wanted.
They were peaceful protesters.
Because they came together in peaceful protest,
asking for democracy,
they were punished in a very, very brutal way.
One night, everybody gathered at the roundabout:
Men, women and children.
And they went to sleep at the roundabout
hopeful that their country was about to reform
and their rights would be granted.
Their human rights.
But  instead the Saudi army attacked the roundabout, brutally,
with tear gas and bird shots,
and many many people were injured.
Some people were killed, but the injuries were catastrophic,
and all those injuries were taken the best they could
to the Salmanyia Medical Complex.
It was difficult for them to get there because even ambulance drivers were stopped from reaching them
and ambulance drivers and medics were brutally beaten.
The medics in that hospital were horrified,
but they worked through the night day after day
to treat the most horrific injuries.
And they were horrified, and rightly so.
And some of them spoke up about what they had witnessed.
And for that, they were arrested, in the middle of the night.
Masked gunmen barged into their homes,
in the middle of the night
in front of their children,
and took these doctors away.
They beat them and they tortured them.
They tortured them with the most horrific ways that you cannot imagine.
Many of them were electrocuted.
They were degraded.
They were treated like animals,
and asked to do the most disgusting things.
And these were doctors and nurses and medics,
the most honourable people of any society.
Doctors and nurses are the humanity of society.
And the humanity in Bahrain was degraded
and treated in a terrible way.
Today we are very honoured to have with us Dr Nada Dhaif
Who treated people at the roundabout,
and for that she was arrested, tortured,
taken away from her two young girls
and then she was sentenced at a military trial for 15 years in prison.
15 years away from her children.
And I am delighted to be here today with Dr Damian McCormack
Who stood up for these medics from day one.
An Irish doctor, he was there calling for their freedom.
Ireland has the most incredible human rights defenders here
And it is an honour to be here with them today.
They have worked tirelessly for the people of Bahrain
And they will continue to work tirelessly
until every single one of those people in prison are now free.
There are over seven hundred people in prison
for simply expressing their opinions.
Four of them are medics still in prison.
One of them is Younis Ashoori, age sixty-one.
He has been terribly ill from kidney stones.
He has been urinating blood.
He has been in agony.
When he was taken to the military hospital the doctors said to him there
(the so called doctors, not like the honourable doctors of Bahrain)
these doctors said to him 'Where does it hurt?'
Younis Ashoori said 'In my kidney'.
He was then punched in the kidney.
This gentleman is still in prison today.
He has been brutally tortured.
He has been sentenced to years in prison.
He should not be there.
Younis Ashoori.
Free Younis Ahsoori!

لقد أتيت اليوم من بريطانيا إلى دبلن – أيرلندا، لأقف هنا من أجل دعم الشعب المضطهد والمظلوم في البحرين وهي البلد التي يدرك أهلها جيدا أهمية الحرية ويدركون معنى الصراع ضد الظلم.
في مثل هذا الوقت من العام الماضي لم أكن أعلم الكثير عن البحرين وحتى موقعها الجغرافي، البحرين هي جزيرة صغيرة تقع بالقرب من المملكة العربية السعودية وعدد سكانها قليل جداً يفوق المليون بقليل.
في هذه الجزيرة يعيش مئات الألوف من الناس تحت نظام آل خليفة الدكتاتوري، حيث يشغل رئيس الوزراء منصبه منذ أكثر من 40 عام وهي أطول مدة يشغلها رئيس وزراء في العالم، وهو يحكم البلاد مع عائلته الفاحشة الثراء ومن الطبيعي أنهم يحاربون الديمقراطية لأنها سوف تنتزع منهم السلطة والثروة.
في 14 فبراير 2011 تجمع البحرينيون في اعتصام مفتوح في دوار اللؤلؤة للمطالبة بحقوق إنسانية بسيطة كحرية التعبير ووقف التعذيب والاعتقالات التعسفية والحق في اختيار حكومة، هذا كل ما طالبوا به!
كانوا في قمة السلمية للمطالبة بالديمقراطية ولكن تم معاقبتهم وقمعهم بصورة بشعة جداًً. ففي أحد الليالي حيث كان الناس من رجال ونساء وأطفال نيام، يحلمون بمستقبل مشرق بالحرية والديمقراطية ولكن عوضا عن ذلك صحوا على هجوم بربري من قبل الجيش السعودي، وكان القمع بالغاز المسيل للدموع والرصاص المطاطي وطلقات بنادق صيد الطيور (الشوزن المحرم دوليا) والرصاص الحي، وأصيب الكثير الكثير من الناس والبعض قد قتل. الإصابات كانت كارثية، وفي أحسن الأحوال كانت تنقل الإصابات إلى مجمع السلمانية الطبي وكان من الصعب عليهم الوصول إلى هناك بسبب إعاقة سائقي سيارات الإسعاف من الوصول من قبل رجال الأمن حيث كانوا يوقفون ويتعرضون للضرب الوحشي. وتم ترويع الطواقم الطبية في المستشفى ولكنهم عملوا بجهد وإخلاص طوال الأيام لعلاج معظم الإصابات المروعة، وأثناء ذلك قام بعضهم بالتحدث إلى وكالات الأنباء العالمية بما شاهدوه من إصابات مروعة، وجزاء لذلك تم إلقاء القبض عليهم من قبل ملثمين مسلحين اقتحموا منازلهم في منتصف الليل أمام أطفالهم وأخذوا إلى أماكن مجهولة وتم ضربهم وتعذيبهم بأشد الطرق المروعة التي لا يمكن تخيلها كالصعق بالكهرباء، وكانوا يهينون إنسانيتهم بأشد الاهانات ويعاملونهم معاملة الحيوانات، وأجبروهم بفعل أشد الأشياء المثيرة للاشمئزاز. وكان هؤلاء الأطباء والممرضين والممرضات من أكثر الناس منزلتا ومكانتا في المجتمع.
اليوم نحن فخورون جدا أن تكون معنا الدكتور ندى ضيف التي كانت من المتواجدين في دوار اللؤلؤة ومن أجل ذلك تم القبض عليها باقتحام منزلها بعد منتصف الليل من قبل مجموعة ملثمة ومسلحة وأخذوها إلى مكان مجهول وعذبوها بكل وحشية بعيدا عن بناتها الصغار من ثم حكم عليها في محكمة عسكرية بالسجن لمدة 15 عاما.
وكما يسعدني أن أكون هنا اليوم مع الدكتور داميان مكورماك الذي ناصر قضية الطاقم الطبي منذ اليوم الأول. هو طبيب أيرلندي، وكان يطالب من هنا بحريتهم جميعا.
أيرلندا لديها نخبة من أعظم المدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان وانه لشرف لي أن أكون هنا اليوم معهم فقد عملوا دون كلل أو ملل من أجل شعب البحرين المظلوم وسوف يستمرون في العمل بلا توقف حتى يتم تحرير جميع المعتقلين.
والجدير بالذكر ان هناك أكثر من 700معتقل سياسي في السجون البحرينية والسبب هو وبكل بساطة التعبير عن آرائهم. أربعة منهم من الطاقم الطبي لا يزال في السجن أحدهم يونس عاشوري 61 سنة كان يعاني من حصى في الكلى وحالته حرجة وكان يتبول دماً وقد شارف على الموت قبل أن يتم نقله إلى المستشفى العسكري وسأله الأطباء هناك (ولم يكونوا كبقية الأطباء الشرفاء) سألوه: أين موضع الألم؟
فأجاب يونس "في كليتي" فأخذوا يلكمونه عليها..
هذا الرجل لا يزال في السجن حتى الآن وقد تعرض للتعذيب بشكل وحشي وحكم عليه بالسجن لسنوات طويلة، ينبغي أن لا يكون هناك.
الحرية ليونس عاشوري...

Friday, 27 April 2012

#Bahrain I did my best

A letter to all the people I love, to all the people who care for humanity, and to all the oppressed people in Bahrain.

Dear Friend,

I didn't realise what a great man Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was until I had a dream about him several weeks back that had a huge impact on me. Waking up that morning I found myself crying for a man that I had never met before and knew little about. I had been hit with the realisation of just how great a man Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is, and yet I continued to watch the tweets and read what was happening to him, but do nothing.

Last week however, in the run up to the Formula One, I realised that this gentle hero was lying silently in his bed, enduring the pain of starvation, preparing himself for his final days, for the people that he loved the most, for Bahrain, and for humanity. And yet, all the while, the Formula 1 circus kicked up a noisy storm.

I wanted to do something to let the world know about this man, who could silently slip away whilst the cars roared out their engines. I started to tweet, but it wasn't enough. I wanted to act, but then it hit me, I was too late, his appeal was due in only a few days, and he didn't have long left to live. I felt guilty, that I had realised his greatness more than a month beforehand, and had done nothing to let other people know. So I wrote him a letter and made him a card. I didn't know if he would ever see them, but I just had to try, and some other people who felt the same wrote letters too.

So this week we had another chance, to tell the world about the hero of Bahrain, and I wasn't going to let it slip me by. I began to pray and fast with diligence, and to call on tweeps to help write emails to people around the world. Our objective, whether he was heading to freedom or martyrdom, was to ensure that his greatness did not pass by without being noticed.

We began campaign #Action4Khawaja where I wrote some tasks and set target numbers of emails for each - which we achieved, and then everyone began to write their own actions and support those of others which we called #MyAction4Khawaja, and then finally today I wrote one more set of actions called #Act4Khawaja and asked people to complete these too.

We noticed that as soon as we started to act together, we had power, and we started to see immediate results to our calls for action.

So I worked really hard this week. I hardly slept at all. I feel exhausted now but with some peace that I really did do as much as I could. Now if I don't go and tidy the house and look after my children I realise I might just get kicked out, so I'm not going to be able to do a lot more at the weekend (but will try).

Abduhadi al-Khawaja's appeal is due to give its verdict on Monday I understand. I am concerned that we have not done enough. I am wary that he may not even be alive. But this was our chance to get his message out to the world - and through him the message of the struggle for humanity in Bahrain. We made a good start - but I don't feel like this job is complete.

So I'm asking for your help. I need you to write, as much as you can, and to ask everyone you know to do the same. These are the actions:

Please do what you can to ensure the world gets to hear about this great man, before his appeal on Monday.




Interview of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja with @chanadbh in 2005

Our latest set of actions, for you to tweet, retweet, post to Facebook and Google +, blog about, and of course COMPLETE with the #Act4Khawaja tag are as follows:

#Act4Khawaja No 1 Contact Prince Charles ask him 2 speak up 2 save human rights hero #alKhawaja 4 humanity #Bahrain

#Act4Khawaja No 2 Contact Richard Branson on Twitter,FB,G+,blog (post comments) ask him to help save our hero #Bahrain

#Act4Khawaja No 3 Tell Aung San Suu Kyi of #Khawaja's struggle for democracy + human rights. Ask 4 urgent help #Bahrain

#Act4Khawaja No 4 Contact Nick Clegg (select Nick Clegg in subject box) ask him to speak out urgently about #Alkhawaja

#Act4Khawaja No 5 Email address to Terry Waite. Tell him about #AlKhawaja Ask 4 help. #Bahrain

#Act4Khawaja No 6 Tweet+FB Donald Trump explain how #AlKhawaja release important 4 stability of world economy ask4help

#Act4Khawaja No 7 Contact President of Russia,Dmitry Medvedev,ask 4 urgent intervention 4 #AlKhawaja 4 peace+stability

#Act4Khawaja No 8 Contact Bill Gates +tweet @BillGates Ask 4 help 2 solve urgent humanitarian world problem #AlKhawaja

#Act4Khawaja No 9 Contact Bill Clinton + @ClintonTweet + ask him to use his influence 2 make a difference 4 #AlKhawaja

#Act4Khawaja No 10 email Brad+Angelina via ask 4 email 2 be forwarded urgently. Stress threat 2 peace.
This photo, taken by @MaryFletchJones
is free for you to use and distribute to media

Please tweet me when you complete a task with the tag + task number so I can keep a track of progress, or reply to the tweet that set the task. Thanks! @frankiedolan

When you have complete these make sure to also complete previous actions #Action4Khawaja and then continue to support #MyAction4Khawaja

I realise some people have a feeling of despair and sadness, worrying whether Abdulhadi AlKhawaja is still alive or not. But we must not give up on him, and whatever happens we must make sure the whole world knows about him, so if you feel like crying that's fine, but don't stop typing your emails whilst you cry!

You may like to use some of the info/links on this page.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


If you would like to save our human rights hero Abdulhadi al-Khawaja from starvation (as of writing now on 77th day of hungerstrike in prison in Bahrain), first complete these #Action4Khawaja actions here and then #Act4Khawaja actions here.

Once you have done both those, then join us with #MyAction4Khawaja details below.

These are the rules:

Tweet a simple action that you have done/will be doing, that everyone else can do also. Tweet with clear guidance and a link or email address to complete the task. Make sure to use the #MyAction4Khawaja tag on the tweet.

Once you have completed your action, then go and complete someone else's action. Once you have completed an action, reply to the tweet that set the action in the first place (make sure to reply against the tweet, not directly to the person, so that we can all see who has completed which actions).

Tip: make your actions clear and concise. Eg. don't say 'email every member of parliament', instead give a single name with an email address or form to complete.

I will be updating this blog with actions people have publish throughout the campaign, which will continue now until the end of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja's imprisonment.


Actions for you to complete:

(This list will be updated throughout the campaign with new actions. But don't forget to write your own too!)

#MyAction4Khawaja Email George Galloway ask him to speak out urgently in UK parliament about #AlKhawaja
Update: we have now got action on this but you can still email to thank George!

#MyAction4Khawaja Email Jeremy Corbyn MP ask him to speak out urgently in UK Parliament about #AlKhawaja

#MyAction4Khawaja Ask Baroness Warsi to urgently publicise Abdulhadi al-Khawaja's case in the House of Lords.

#MyAction4Khawaja I tweeted @BonoVox_ aka Bono from U2, asked him to help by Speaking Out for Hunger Striker, Abdulhadi AlKhawaja #bahrain

#MyAction4Khawaja  Ask to speek about #Alkhawaja he is missing write now on his 77 days of hunger strike.

#MyAction4Khawaja just emailed Ban Ki Moon urgently about his disappearance #Bahrain #Alkhawaja

tweet ask them to save #Alkhawaja the human rights hero by taking an action #Bahrain

 #MyAction4Khawaja (tweet ) ask him to take an action about #Alkhawaja the human rights hero #Bahrain.

#MyAction4Khawaja tweet ask him to save #Alkhawaja the human rights hero by taking an action #Bahrain

Sorry there are too many actions now for me to keep updating, so please just have a look at the #MyAction4Khawaja tag on Twitter and support some of the actions you find there by doing what they say and then tweeting the author to tell them you have completed the action.


Ideas for Actions

Write an email/complete a contact form to: a politician/journalist/celebrity/organisation, asking for help to save our hero. Google to find the correct contact form or email address. For example I just Googled 'contact George Galloway' and I soon found his contact details.

Ideas for Writing Emails

Write from the heart. Say why this issue is important to you personally. Offer some extra facts or links that may be of help to the reader to understand. Maybe offer a suggestion of what they could do to help (ie. raise the matter in parliament, publish a statement of concern, contact the Bahraini government to express concern). Don't worry if you are not good at writing, it is more important that you write something rather than nothing.

Here's an email I sent to George Galloway that may give you some ideas - but just use your own style, say whatever comes to your mind. If you are Bahraini explain what this man means to you and your country, and you may also wish to write about your daily struggle in Bahrain.

Other Languages

It would be great if some of you could start actions in different countries,writing in your own language to try and raise more awareness of this issue worldwide. 


If you want any further guidance then send me a direct message of Twitter. If I am not following you just let me know and I will. @frankiedolan

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Will you join our urgent action for Abdulhadi a-lKhawaja? He's a human rights hero on day 77th of his hungerstrike in Bahrain. Further info on how great he is and how much we love him you can find here.

I'm tweeting actions throughout the day to complete on the Twitter #Action4Khawaja tag. Once you have completed an action then tweet me to let me know you have with the action number. I'll be setting targets for each action for us to achieve before I move on to the next action.

Actions completed so far are as follows:

#Action4Khawaja No 1:email ask 4 urgent coverage on #Alkhawaja #Bahrain say why important
Target: 10 actions - now completed but please do anyway!

#Action4Khawaja No 2 Fill in: ask BBC to cover #AlKhawaja story but NOT with Frank Gardner he don't understand #Bahrain
Target: 15 actions - now completed but please do anyway!

#Action4Khawaja No 3 email ask them 2 cover story on #AlKhawaja tell them why important+then tweet @channel4news #Bahrain
Target: 20 actions - now completed but please do anyway!

#Action4Khawaja No 4 write to UK PM Cameron ask 4 urgent LOUD intervention 4 #AlKhawaja not quiet diplomacy! #Bahrain
Target: 25 actions - now completed but please do anyway! 

#Action4Khawaja No 5 No 5 Ask CNN to cover story urgently, tell them why it is soooo important!  #Bahrain 
Target: 30 actions - now completed but please do anyway!

#Action4Khawaja No 6  ask Obama 4 urgent LOUD intervention 4 #AlKhawaja (select 'international' option 4 address fields) #Bahrain
Target: 35 actions - now completed but please do anyway!

#Action4Khawaja No 7 Ask AlJazeera to cover #AlKhawaja story urgently + *in depth* tell them why so important #Bahrain
Target: 40 actions - now completed but please do anyway!

#Action4Khawaja No 8 Ask Kofi Annan to do anything he can to intervene personally + urgently to save our human rights hero #AlKhawaja #Bahrain
Target: 45 actions - now completed but please do anyway!

#Action4Khawaja No 9 Contact Desmond Tutu ask 4 his help 2 save #HumanRights hero #AlKhawaja from starvation #Bahrain
Target: 50 actions - in progress...

#Action4Khawaja No 10 Light a candle, say a prayer + be silent. Feel the same peace that #Alkhawaja feels right now because you acted.
Target: 1000+ actions - in progress..

Please tweet me as you complete an action with the action number so I can keep track.
You can find me on @frankiedolan
Hurry though, tomorrow could be too late.

Once you have completed #Action4Khawaja please move on to #Act4Khawaja and then #MyAction4Khawaja

Monday, 23 April 2012

Abdulhadi #alKhawaja : The Hero I love : Fight for Humanity #Bahrain

The Letter I Wrote 

Dear Mr Alkhawaja,

You don't know me, and I never met you. I live in the UK and I've never even been to Bahrain. But I just wanted you to know that your peaceful resistance against oppression and your struggle for human rights has inspired me, and I know many other people around the world too.

I understand you are in the final days of a hunger strike, to'freedom or death'. I know you are a great man that does not fear death, and after the way you have been treated I wouldn't be at all surprised if you'd had enough of this world. I also know that the angels will be having one huge party the day you join them in Heaven.

But I just wanted to tell you that if you die it is going to be a huge loss for mankind. I hope and pray you will hang on and give us a little more time to help get you out. There are a lot of people now working hard in different countries to try and secure your release and news about your struggle and suffering is spreading all the time.

Love and prayers,

Ms Frankie Dolan

الرسالة التي كتبتها للأستاذ الخواجة

عزيزي السيد الخواجة
انت لا تعرفني وأنا لم التق بك مطلقا فأنا أعيش في المملكة المتحدة ولم أزر البحرين مسبقا. لكني اريد فقط أن تعرف سلميتك المناهضة للظلم والعنف وكفاحك لأجل حقوق الإنسان كان مصدر إلهام لي ولكثر آخرين حول العالم أيضا.

أنا أعرف بأنك في آخر أيام إضرابك ( حرية أو شهادة ) وأعرف بأنك رجل عظيم لا يهاب الموت ولا يفاجئني ذلك بعد كل ما لاقيته من سوء معاملة.

أنا أيضا اعلم بأن الملائكة ستحظى باحتفالية عظمى تستقبلك بها في اليوم الذي سيجمعك بهم في الجنة.

ولكن ارغب بأن اخبرك أن في موتك خسارة كبرى للبشرية وأني آمل وأصلي لتصمد أكثر وتعطينا مزيد من الوقت لمساعدتك في نيل حريتك.

الكثير من مختلف الدول يعملون جاهدين لحماية حقك في حريتك ونشر قضية كفاحك ومعاناتك دائما وأبدا.

مع حبي ودعائي

Ms Frankie Dolan

The Candle I Lit

  The Poem I Found

Rose by Dheeraj Haran

A single rose to lane
A single rose to slain
A single rose to hide my pain

A single rose to turn the tide
A single rose to make roads wide
A single rose as my guild

A single rose to rise the soul
A single rose to widen the hole
A single rose to achieve a goal

A single rose to melt the heart
A single rose to force a start
A single rose to cult

A single rose to freeze my body
A single rose to mourn this memory
A single rose to start a life
A single rose to end the strife

(Note to poet: Dheeraj I couldn't find out how to contact you to get your permission to post this so if you are reading this please let me know if it is ok. Beautiful poem, thanks!)

The Card I Made

The Hero I Love

What They Did to Him

The Words He Spoke

The Letter He Wrote

"My dear & beloved family, from behind prison bars, I send to you my love & yearning. From a free man, to a free family. These prison walls don't separate me from you, they bring us closer together. Our connection & determination is stronger than ever. We take our strength, from beautiful memories. Remembering every trip, every meal we ate together, all the conversations, remembering every smile, all the jokes & the laughter. The distance between us disappears, thru our love & faith. 
It's true: I am in here, & you are out there. But, you are in here with me, and I am out there with you. Our pain is made more bearable when we remember we chose this difficult path & took an oath to remain on it. We must not only remain patient thru our suffering, we must never allow the pain to conquer our souls. Let our hearts be filled with joy, and an acceptance of the responsibility we have been given for in the end, this life is about finding a path of truth towards God."

The Instructions He Gave

Tweeted by Zainab al-Khawaja his daughter @angryarabia on 20th April 2012

  • Urgent: My father called now, he asked us to try and get him an urgent visit by his lawyer to write his will
  • He said, if they won't allow the lawyer to see him, he has three things he would like everyone to know
  • 1st: he is completely convinced in what he is doing, and that he has chosen this path & wud choose it again if time goes back
  • 2nd: he asks that nobody attempts to go on a similar strike til death
  • Finally my father said "if I die, in the next 24 hrs, I ask the ppl to continue on path of peaceful resistance...
  • My father continued "... I don't want anybody to be hurt in my name"
  • My father has stopped drinking even water since yesterday
  • As my father finished saying his will to us, the line was cut. He did not say goodbye


The Life He Has Lived



The Words They Wrote

To Him


For Him


About Him

The Demonstrations they Attended


(Note regarding videos and images: I did not have time to seek permission to use these since this man may only have hours left to live, I did not want to delay posting this. If you own any media on this site you would like me to remove just let me know and I will do so no problem. Thanks!)


The Hungerstrike in Solidarity they Joined

  The News They Reported


The Petitions You Need to Sign

Avaaz to Hilary Clinton

BCHR to Bahrain Government


URGENT: Abdulhadi al-Khawaja may only have days or hours left to live, but we must try our best to fight for this life as it represents the struggle for human rights and liberty worldwide.


The Campaign You Should Join


More Actions You Could Take

  1. Follow the Facebook Page
  2. Follow his family on Twitter: @angryarabiya  @maryamalkhawaja  @tublani2010
  3. Write your own letter to Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. Post it on your blog if you have one, or to Facebook, or anywhere else you want. If you use Twitter you can use Twitlonger Post a link to the letter with including the #DearAlkhawaja tag in the text so that we can find it and we will add it here (or post a link to it in the comments here below).  You may even like to hand write the letter, or make a card, or draw a picture for him and then take a photo of that and post it online.
  4. Send your letter/card/picture to the Bahrain Defense Hospital where Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is now being kept. We do not know if this correspondence will be passed on or not but we think we should at least try. You may use post and/or send a fax. Contact details for the hospital can be found here.
  5. Light a candle for Abdulhadi al-Khawaja to remind you of his struggle and keep it burning in your home (please do this safely, blow out before you sleep, and do not leave the candle unattended). Post a photo of your freedom candle online.
  6. Contact your member of parliament, plus any other politician that you think you should reach out to, plus your world leader (prime minister/president). Sorry we can't post details on how to do this for every country but if you Google your own government you should be able to find out how to contact them by email.
  7. Contact your media outlets and ask them to cover this story. Tell them why this is so important, and what he means to you personally. Write a list of all the main tv channels, radio stations and newspapers then Google them to find out their contact details.
  8. Contact any human rights organisation you are involved with, ask them if they could support this campaign too, even if it is not related directly to their work. Perhaps they could donate one day of campaigning for this great man, for the sake of the struggle for universal human rights.
  9. Tell your friends about this and ask them to get involved too. Tweet this page of action, post to Facebook and to Use the #Alkhawaja tag on Twitter. Also post to Google+ and write blog posts. If you like post a personal message of support to YouTube. Post your actions in the comments below.
  10. Pray for Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his family.

LASTEST NEWS: Day 100 of hungerstrike!!! Appeal ongoing but he is very weak. Please act now.

If you would like to help me campaign for Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, with whatever creative ideas you may think of, please get in touch.

Post any more ideas here. You can also contact me via Twitter @frankiedolan