Today I woke up to an e-mail from my friend (and at one time editor) Emily, with a disturbing subject line: “Hey, Rajiv’s sister got arrested in Bahrain, help her out?” Rajiv is Emily’s longtime boyfriend. His sister, a human rights lawyer, flew from the United States to Bahrain to help with a peaceful protest.
In the words of Emily:
“Radhika went over there specifically to use her status as a U.S. citizen to act as a witness to anything bad the government might do to its own people.”
According to recent post by Witness Bahrain Radhika Sainath and Huwaida Arraf, both American citizens, were arrested by police on Saturday and they are currently awaiting a hearing that will determine whether or not they will be deported.
So why were they over there? To be international witnesses at the 1 year anniversary of the initial democratic revolution of Bahrain, a revolution that began during February 2011. Read all about it HERE in a post by Radhika for Witness Bahrain and HERE in a story posted by Reuters just yesterday.
So what do we do to help Radhika and Huwaida and to get the word out about what’s happening in Bahrain? I’m sitting in the middle of a palm jungle in Indonesia. You might be sitting in your apartment in New York City or at a cafe in Europe but the answer is simple, use the outlets available and continue to talk about what is happening. Write a blog post, tweet about it, update your status on Facebook, or make a phone call.
If there’s one thing the Arab Spring has taught us, it’s that while social media isn’t in itself action, it is a powerful tool to stimulate it and to organize people for a cause.
Twitter for the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior: @moi_bahrain
Contact information for the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior:
Ms. Hamada Suad, Ministry of Interior Media Office +973 39 88 66 42