Karim Fakhrawi, also known as Abdulkarim Ali Ahmed Fakhrawi, (1962 – 12 April 2011) Bahraini businessman, and a well-known political and social activist in the community. was the co-founder of Al-Wasat, considered one of the more popular newspapers in Bahrain by winning numerous awards such as the UNICEF regional award for electronic media, and it is the 15th strongest MENA newspaper on the internet, according to Forbes Middle East. Fakhrawi was a local book publisher, as well as owner of one of the biggest bookstores in Bahrain. He was a member of Al-Wefaq, the largest opposition political party in Bahrain.
Fakhrawi was taken into custody on April 5, 2011, when he was going to file a complaint that the police were threatening to demolish his home. He was accused of "deliberate news fabrication and falsification" by the Bahraini authorities. Fakhrawi was in police custody for one week before his death. Bahraini police told the media that Karim died of kidney failure, but photos later leaked revealing bruises that indicate torture and police brutality. The evidence was discovered in the process of burial when his clothes were removed. The torture marks were documented and released.
Fakhrawi is the second professional media worker to die during the Bahraini uprising.
Thus, the Journalist Support Committee (JSC) has issued the following statement:
In accordance with the first Principle of the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 8 February 2005, states:
"Impunity arises from a failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations."
Therefore, the Journalist Support Committee calls for a just and fair investigation regarding the death of journalist Karim Fakhrawi, and calls on the international community, United Nation bodies and human rights organizations to take necessary measures to put an end to impunity for crimes committed against journalists in Bahrain. The Committee also calls for exerting pressure on the Bahraini government to cease its violations and constraints against journalists, and to take serious measures to bring the perpetrators to a fair trial.