Imprisoning opinion holders in the Arab world is a normal and widespread matter, moreover; it goes hand in hand with the absence of rule of law, the values of justice and the minimum level of democracy.
Under any regime in any Arab country, it is hard to find any dissident or different critical voice of any regime whose address was not one day at Tora, AlHayir, Saidnaya, Jaw, Abu Ghraib, Abu Salim prisons or others.
It is not imprisonment that constitutes hardship for any prisoner; rather, it is oblivion!
To be forgotten in prison, to become just a number because of your opinion that you have expressed.
Therefore, this campaign, which ANHRI from Egypt, Maharat Foundation from Lebanon in association with IFEX Network are launching, aims at highlighting Arab prisoners of opinion, whoever is forgotten behind bars due to expressing their opinion peacefully, writing articles, posts on Facebook, a photograph taken or posted, peaceful protest, holding up a sign, tweeting on Twitter, a work of art they took part in, or a conference in which they spoke.
The Arab citizen’s right to expression is a right not a grant, and it is our duty to defend it, whether we agree or disagree with that opinion.
Words are not to bring before the court.
An opinion is not something to be punished for.
This campaign will shed a spotlight on an Arab prisoner of opinion each month.
Freedom is our main demand for all prisoners of opinion, but maybe a more pressing demand at the moment could be just protecting the prisoner of opinion from torture, supporting his/her right to a fair trial, improving his/her imprisonment conditions, protecting them from abuse, providing medical care for them, because, if we are honest with ourselves, we all know how are the circumstances of the prisons in the Arab World, from the shores of one sea to the other.
Be part of this campaign, support the prisoners of opinion right to freedom, and their right to defend freedom of expression.
How can you participate:
Promote the campaign and make it known.
– Post a comment on Facebook or Tweet on Twitter using hashtag #TheirFreedomIsTheirRight
– Suggest the name of a prisoner that might not be known.
– Post the photo of the prisoner of the month on your accounts, blogs or websites.
– Write to the public prosecutor in your country, the minister of interior or the president, or the ruler of your country.
– Encourage the press in your country to write about the case of the prisoner of the month.
– Send a letter or a post card to the prisoner showing your support.
All legal means are legitimate to defend prisoners of opinion, and not leaving them a prey to oblivion.
The organizations taking part in the campaign:
ANHRI – The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information: http://anhri.net/
Maharat Foundation: http://maharat-news.com/
IFEX Network: http://www.ifex.org/ar/
We invite you, whether as an organization or as an individual or a newspaper, to be part of this campaign.
“Their Freedom is Their Right” Campaign Declares “ Tayseer Al-Najjar” the Month Prisoner of June 2016