Bahrain: Zainab Al-Khamees summoned in worrying escalation against women’s rights defenders


“Bahraini women’s rights defenders are at heightened risk of harassments, attacks  and intimidations, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said today, “The Government must repeal all repressive measures against human rights defenders, including travel bans and counter-terrorism legislations that criminalizes legitimate activities”
The recent summon and investigation of Zainab Al-Khamees from the Bahrain Human Rights Society, which follows the arrest and torture of Ebtisam Al-Saegh, and the travel ban imposed on  activist Fatima Al-Halwachi, show a pattern of abuses against Bahraini female activists aiming to silence and intimidate them. 
Activist Rihanna Al-Mosawi who took part to protests at the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix, has been summoned as well today for illegal gathering.
Zainab Al-Khamees is a member of the Bahrain Human Rights Society, an organization aimed at promoting human rights in Bahrain. Zainab was actively involved in campaigning for the release of her colleague Ebtisam Al-Saegh. She has been summoned on Tuesday to the Criminal investigation Directorate (CID).
Ebtisam Al-Saegh is a Bahraini human rights defender who works for the organization Salam for human rights and democracy. She is charged and currently detained under anti-terrorism law. She was previously tortured, including by being raped and sexually harassed by members of the National Security Agency.  
Fatima Al-Halwachi is the Deputy-Head of the European-Bahraini Organization for Human Rights (EBOHR). She has been banned on Tuesday 5th of September from traveling to Geneva and participating in the 37nd session of the Human Rights Council.
BCHR believe that the government’s actions are preventing women human rights defenders from conducting their legitimate activities and from advocating for their own rights to be protected.