Nazeeha Saeed is an award winning Bahraini journalist, a leading human rights defender and women’s rights advocate. For more than 12 years, Saeed has worked as a correspondent for international media outlets such as French TV news channel France24, the international broadcaster Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya Arabic service, the cultural and political magazine Raseef22 and the Alhayat daily.
Saeed’s reporting became an essential source of information for those who were following the mass anti-government protests, which erupted in Bahrain in 2011, bringing to light the Bahraini government’s attempts to quell the demonstrations, and the violations against human rights.
Following her coverage of the pro-democracy protests in May 2011, Nazeeha Saeed was detained, interrogated and tortured. After her release, she filed a complaint about the incident to the Ministry of Interior, which was supported with medical reports. All accused were acquitted on grounds of lack of evidence.
Saeed’s case is well known and advocated for by human rights- and journalist organisations, as Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, as well as the international media. It was the first case of torture to be investigated by the judiciary in Bahrain after the crackdown of the 2011 protests.
Nazeeha Saeed is one of five Bahraini journalists based in Bahrain working for foreign media who have been refused the renewal of their press card in 2016, thus depriving them of the exercise of their profession. She left Bahrain after they lifted her travel ban in July 2016, and sought refuge in France.
Saeed is now the first woman to be hosted by the City of Paris within the ICORN network. The welcome to Paris, gave her a renewed Schengen Visa and the opportunity to practice her profession as a journalist safely while still being free to return to her country if the situation permits.
"We are pleased and proud to welcome Nazeeha Saeed to our city," said Patrick Klugman, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of international relations. "The City of Paris has always been deeply committed to respect for human rights. The journalists who are persecuted in their countries, like Nazeeha, are heroes for us and we admire them for what they are, for what they do and for the risks they take daily in the name of freedom to inform." he adds.
Nazeeha Saeed succeeds Iranian illustrator Mana Neyestani (resident ICORN-Paris 2011-2013), Syrian author Najati Tayara (resident ICORN-Paris 2013-2015) and Afghan playwright Abdul Hakim Hashemi Hamidi (ICORN-Paris resident 2015-2017).