A relative and a fellow blogger asked me who Dr. Moh’d Saeed is. She came across his name on my blog and wondered about this person.
So who is Dr. Moh’d Saeed? Well I don’t know him personally, although I would certainly be honored to. However, I am related to him, a cousin of a cousin sorta deal. [Isn’t it wonderful how we are all one big family in Bahrain?] Yet this isn’t the reason why I blogged about him.
In fact, I only came to know of him when I heard from my father that he was imprisoned. “Do you know so and so’s son, who is so and so’s cousin was arrested?” Even then, I am ashamed to say that I din’t pay him or news of his arrest any attention.
Then I started reading more and more about Dr. Saeed and began to follow his story. On the personal and professional level, Dr. Saeed is a 35 year old Bahraini dentist. He is also a political and human rights activist.
The following is a summary of Dr. Saeed’s detainment:
Dr. Mohamed Saeed Al Sahlawi and Mr. Hussain Abdelrazaq Alhabashi were arrested mid November 2006. Their detainment was extended several times pending investigations. The chief prosecutor Ahmed Bucheeri claims that they were caught with leaflets they were planning to distribute. [The leaflets concerned the Bandargate scandal and urged people to boycott the elections.] They have been detained since mid November and could face up to three years in prison and an unlimited fine if found guilty.
They are held on two charges, relating to the Press and Publishing Code and Penal Code. The first charge is promoting "changing the system of the state through illegal means and without a legitimate reason". The second charge is that the publications allegedly contain false rumors that "would cause disruption of public security and damage public interest".
Interestingly enough, “the two laws under which they are to be charged and tried, the Law of Printing and Publications and the Penal Code had been described as both in violations of the fundamentals associated with freedom of speech and expression, as well as International Standards of Human Rights which defend those freedoms essential to any country which claims to be harboring the very example of democracy and justice.” (Bahrain Center for Human Rights).
So who is Dr. Mohammed Saeed? He is more than just another casualty of my beloved.
He is a son, a father and a husband. He is a fellow Bahraini paying the price of enjoying our ‘freedom of expression’ while the rest of us go on with our merry lives.
Attempts are being made to silence him, to punish him for being courageous and speaking his mind. And through him, an example is made to us of how we should be using our new found freedoms… or else suffer a similar fate.
He is a prisoner of conscience in this country that seemingly never tires of sacrifices and always demands much more blood and tears to be shed at her alters.