|Newly Elected Chair of CARAM Asia Faces Unfounded Media Accusations|
BAHRAIN, November 19th 2009: As a regional organisation comprised of some 34 members from 17 countries, Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility Asia (CARAM Asia) remains astonished by the recent accusations of Gulf News Daily and Akhbar Al-Khaleej and their malicious and unfounded attacks levelled at our newly elected Chair Nabeel Rajab, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and by extension CARAM Asia.
The recent allegation of links between CARAM Asia and the Iranian government remain absurd and baseless. Neither BCHR nor CARAM Asia has ever taken a solitary cent from the Iranian government or any of its wider bodies and such facile accusations only seeks to demonstrate the lengths that certain publications will go to smear those committed to increasing the rights of all people. Furthermore, we would like to note that not once has our organisation been contacted by the aforementioned publications, casting light on the credibility of the journalists and the publications themselves.
Further, it is crucial in the interest of transparency that some clear facts be recognised for the documentary record. The BCHR has been an active and passionate member of CARAM Asia since it was approved of membership in 2007 and it was as a result of this recognition that Nabeel Rajab was democratically elected last month as Chair of the organisation by our members. In fact, far from being ‘defunct’ as it was recently labelled by Gulf Daily News (Basma Mohammed, October 28th, 2009), the BCHR has continued to demonstrate its commitment to human rights of all people and continues to operate within an extremely hostile environment.
CARAM Asia is not alone in its support of Mr. Rajab and other prominent human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Frontline and International Federation of Human Rights FIDH have all used our Chair’s reports as well as his commentary on human rights concerns within Bahrain.
CARAM Asia will continue to offer its support to our Chair and collectively we will persist as a network to promote the issue of migrants’ rights at the national, regional and international sphere.
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