UPDATE: Since issuing this letter, SAR has learned that Professor Jahromi's trail has been postponed until December 22, 2011.
Scholars at Risk issues urgent call for letters on behalf of Professor Masaud Jahromi of Bahrain
Date: November 1, 2011
Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned for Professor Masaud Jahromi, Chairman of Telecommunication Engineering Department at Ahlia University, Manama, Bahrain. SAR asks for letters, faxes and emails urging the appropriate authorities to intervene to ensure that his November 2nd hearing is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process and fair trial, in accordance with Bahrain’s obligations under international law.
Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of over 260 universities and colleges in 33 countries dedicated to promoting academic freedom and its constituent freedoms of thought, opinion, expression, association and travel. In cases like that of Professor Jahromi, involving alleged infringement of these freedoms, Scholars at Risk intervenes hoping to clarify and resolve matters favorably.
Professor Masaud Jahromi holds a PhD in Telecommunication Networking from University of Kent at Canterbury in the United Kingdom, and he is Chairman of the Telecommunication Engineering Department at Ahlia University. Professor Jahromi was arrested and taken from his home at 2:30 am on April 14, 2011 and was imprisoned for five months. According to reports, on the night of his arrest, the police broke into his house in the middle of the night, threatened and harassed members of his family, confiscated the family’s laptops, and beat Professor Jahromi before taking him away to an undisclosed location. According to information Scholars at Risk received, while in prison, Professor Jahromi was denied access to his family, much-needed medical care (as he suffered from hepatitis C) and legal counsel for extended periods of time. He was suspended from his position at the university. Initially held without charge, four months’ after his arrest he was charged with “participation in an unauthorized rally”. Reports suggest the charges relate to his peaceful exercise of his right to free expression and assembly. Professor Jahromi was released on bail on September 12, 2011, pending trial on November 2, 2011. He remains suspended from the university.
Absent any additional or contrary information, the facts as described appear to constitute violations of internationally recognized human rights and standards of due process, fair trial and detention, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain has acceded. Taking into account reported arrests of scholars in Bahrain following the pro-democracy protests in February and March, Professor Jahromi’s detention suggests a wider attempt to intimidate intellectuals in Bahrain—a suggestion Scholars at Risk finds particularly distressing and unfortunate given the recent manifestations of public discontent in the region, which appear to warrant more rather than fewer exchanges and discussions among states, intellectuals and the public.
Scholars at Risk therefore respectfully urges the appropriate authorities to intervene in Professor Jahromi’s case and to ensure that the hearing is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process and fair trial, in accordance with Bahrain’s obligations under international law.
Scholars at Risk invites letters, emails and faxes be sent:
-respectfully urging authorities to intervene in Professor Jahromi's case; and
-respectfully urging authorities to ensure that the hearing is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process and fair trial, in accordance with Bahrain's obligations under international law.
PLEASE WRITE TO:
His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
P.O. Box 547
Kingdom of Bahrain
Fax: +973 1-753-6343
His Majesty Shaikh Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
P. O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, Kingdom of Bahrain
Fax: + 973 1-766-8884
His Excellency Dr. Majid Bin Ali Al Nuaimi
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education Building
Al Istiklal Street
P.O. Box 43
Kingdom of Bahrain
Fax: +973 1-768-7866
Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni
Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI)
Professor Abdullah Y. Al-Hawaj
President, Ahlia University
P.O. Box 10878
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Fax: +973 17 290083
The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton
United States Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520, USA
The Honorable Navanethem Pillay
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
The Honorable _________
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to [YOUR COUNTRY]
(See right-hand column at http://www.mofa.gov.bh/Default.aspx?tabid=75&language=en-US for a list of Bahraini embassies worldwide.)
The Honorable _________
Ambassador of [YOUR COUNTRY] to the Kingdom of Bahrain
Scholars at Risk
New York University
194 Mercer St., 4th floor
New York, NY 10012 USA
Fax: +1 212 995-4402