Human Rights Commissioner criticizes harassment of bloggers in Bahrain

31.03.2011 - Press release

Several sources have reported the arrest in Manama yesterday of Mahmoud al-Yousif, one of Bahrain’s most prominent bloggers.

In this connection Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning issued today (31 March) in Berlin the following statement:

“I am gravely concerned by the increasing harassment of Internet activists in Bahrain and by the arrest of Mahmoud al-Yousif in particular. We care deeply about what happens to him as well as everyone in the Arab world who stands up for freedom and human rights.
I call on the Government of Bahrain to refrain from using violence of any kind against people who campaign peacefully for democracy and human rights. Freedom of expression and assembly must be respected and all political prisoners released. Also in Bahrain repression cannot stop the onward march of freedom in the Arab world.”

In recent years Mahmoud al-Yousif has repeatedly spoken out for freedom of expression and freedom of information in Bahrain. Last year he was one of the participants in the 2010 Blogger Tour organized by the Federal Foreign Office. Attempts by the German Embassy to contact him have so far been unsuccessful.

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