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Bahrain Made Personal: One Woman’s Story of her Missing Father

Peace X Peace: Bahrain Made Personal: One Woman’s Story of her Missing Father, April 25, 2011:

22-year-old Aseel Ibrahim Sharif is the daughter of Ibrahim Sharif, the Secretary General of Bahrain’s secular opposition party and one of the hundreds of activists detained under the Bahraini government’s recent crackdown.

An activist in her own right, Aseel participated Bahrain’s initial mid-February protests in Manama’s Pearl Roundabout. She describes herself as “one of the hundreds of women who voiced their opinion,” as she explained “nobody is silent in this movement.” Aseel’s activism was taken to a new level when her father was arrested over one month ago.

In her own words, Aseel describes the experience of her family, as one of many who suffer through the regime’s crackdown.

Read the entire interview.

Dear Baba,

Today is day 41. It’s been tough having to wait like this because i know you are innocent. I hope one day this is all just a distant memory. I know you wouldn’t want us to emotionally suffer like this so i keep reminding myself that i shouldn’t allow my life to come to a complete stop. I have tried to keep myself busy but i’m hoping that you will be released in no time. I know one day you’ll be able to read this so i thought i would just update you through this website. I don’t know how long it will take, but i have faith that one day we can hover in front of a laptop reading this page together. When all this is over, we’re definitely going to South Africa! Something about the air there changed my life and i know it will be good for you too. I know you’ll want to stay in Bahrain but maybe just a week in Cape town.. Deal? Ok Great!  Trying to stay positive.. some think it’s naive, i call it faith.

Love always,

Yara Ebrahim Al Sayed

Day 41: Still no news

It has been 41 days since Ebrahim Sharif was arrested. The government has yet to issue any official news regarding his case. Ebrahim’s family is still not allowed visitation rights and is still waiting to contact him through official government channels.

Ebrahim Sharif reportedly hospitalized

On April 17th 2011, Ebrahim Sharif’s family was informed  that Ebrahim had been admitted to the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital (BDF). It was said that Ebrahim Sharif had been admitted on Sunday, April 10th, however, nothing was confirmed due to lack of communication on the government’s part. A patient at BDF claimed that he saw another patient and recognized him as Ebrahim Sharif, but when he called out to Ebrahim, he was immediately pushed away and Ebrahim was taken away by those accompanying him. This is Ebrahim’s second admittance to BDF during his detainment.

Ebrahim’s wife attempted to contact military officials in charge regarding visitation rights but received no reply. The family’s only contact with Ebrahim consisted of a 3-4 second phone call Ebrahim was allowed to make to his wife one week after his arrest. It has now been more than a month since Ebrahim’s arrest, and that incredibly short phone call remains the only form of contact Ebrahim was allowed to make with his family.

His family knows nothing about his current physical well-being, noting that he was in good health prior to his arrest. Ebrahim’s family would like to communicate with Ebrahim through official government channels immediately, as they fear for his safety, his health, and his life.

Circulating reports of police brutality in Bahraini prisons as well as implementation of torture and brutality in Bahraini prisons in the recent past are more than enough to keep his children, who are all abroad, worried for their father’s life.

ABC News – Video

ABC News: Bahrain – Kingdom, Undercover, April 19, 2011

BORMANN: Her husband, opposition leader Ibrahim Sherif was lead away to prison. There’s been one telephone call of just a few seconds. At least she knows he’s alive.

FARIDA GHULAM: “It was very tense. They were screaming all the time, trying to paralyse you, not answering you. It was…. I think they were deliberately doing that to scare you and not give you the chance to think or act properly”.

Watch the entire film.

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy: Is Bahrain Creating a New Terrorist Threat?, April 14, 2011:

The political crackdown is so complete it has extended to the nonsectarian and social democratic reformist organization al-Waad, whose moderate leader Ibrahim Sharif was also rounded up. In recent days, al-Waad has joined other groups in warning against Iranian interference in Bahrain, but the government’s response has been to arrest another of its leaders, Abdulhamid Al Murad, and shut down its website and its two main offices.

Read the full article.

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal: Bahrain Opposition Faces Uphill Effort, March 28, 2011

Waad, the Sunni-led secularist party led by one of those detainees, Ebrahim Sharif, said its offices have been attacked and torched twice since the crackdown began, and it blamed progovernment militias. The government has said it will investigate the incidents.

The arrest of other opposition leaders has isolated Al Wefaq and made it more willing to offer concessions.

Read the full article.


GlobalPost: Bahrain mired in dangerous stalemate, March 25, 2011

In addition, the government has made clear that it won’t tolerate any type of dissent.

It has not disclosed the number of political detainees it is holding. But they include several Shiite opposition figures, and at least one Sunni, secular-oriented politician, Ibrahim Sharif, head of the liberal Waad Party.

He was detained, said Munira Fakhro, a leading figure in the Waad Party, “because they don’t want a Sunni voice aligned with the Shia voices because this [dispute with the government] has to be sectarian.”

Read the full article.

Time Magazine

Time: How the Bahrain Regime Wants to Erase Its Bad Memories, March 18, 2011:

The 45 helmeted men, armed with rifles, their faces masked, came for Ibrahim Sharif at 2 a.m. on Friday. They hopped the fence and entered his home, carted him off to jail — or Saudi Arabia — no one’s really sure. “They were ringing the bell and shouting ‘open, open, open,'” the dissident’s wife, Fareeda, told TIME later that day. “Ibrahim told them to lower their guns, to calm down. They took him anyway. It took less than 10 minutes.” The vans outside, she said, sported the insignia of Bahrain’s national security forces.

Read the full article.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International: Bahrain must free detained opposition activists, March 18, 2011

Amnesty International is calling for the immediate release of eight prominent Bahraini opposition activists arrested following a violent dispersal of demonstrators in Manama.

The eight activists, mainly leading members of Shi’a opposition groups prominent in the ongoing protests for reform, were arrested yesterday in armed raids on their homes by a joint force of Bahraini and Saudi Arabian security forces.

The security forces did not produce arrest warrants and the authorities have not revealed where the detainees have been taken, or allowed them access to lawyers or their families.

Read the full statement.