BIRD: Bahrain Human Rights Institute Misleads in Case of Sayed Alawi’s Disappearance
2016-11-27 - 3:11 am
Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said that Bahrain's National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR) misled on the case a victim of enforced disappearance after their family complained to the press, in reference to the case of Sayed Alawi Hussein Alawi. BIRD added that the NIHR's actions in this case is indicative of its failure to represent and defend the interests of victims of rights abuses.
The incident with the NIHR came after the family told their story to Alwasat, the only independent newspaper in the country. They told Alwasat that Sayed Alawi had been in policy custody for 31 days now, but that they had no idea where he was held. The circumstances make Sayed Alawi a victim of enforced disappearance, violating the right to liberty as protected under Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to BIRD.
Soon after and in response, the NIHR told the same newspaper that Sayed Alawi is being held in the Dry Dock Detention Centre, and that his wife knows this and was informed by the Criminal Investigations Department. His wife, Majeeda, has spent the last month pursuing the police for his whereabouts and disputes this. She responds that this being informed is not the same as confirmation, and that she needs to speak with and meet her husband.
Majeeda told the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) that the NIHR misrepresented them and the case. They met her at her school and told her the Ministry of Interior, which oversees the police, confirmed a call to her from her husband. She denied ever receiving a call, and asked why she would lie about this.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, BIRD: "It's just another case of a Bahraini ‘human rights reform' rejecting the vulnerable rather than helping them. Sayed Alawi is arbitrarily detained and may have been tortured. His wife and family are distressed. And the NIHR is treating them with disrespect, when they should be helping them. This is just an addition to the long list of rights failures coming from Bahrain. The UK has been deeply involved in providing assistance to Bahrain, and need to change direction. Their policy of technical assistance is simply not working."
NIHR is among the organizations that Bahrain considered to be part of its Human Rights reforms. It was established in the aftermath of the Bahraini government's violent crackdown against the vast protests as part of the 2011 Arab Spring demonstrations. Despite all that, NIHR is not independent from the government, and does not meet the required standards in similar organizations, according to the internationally acknowledged Paris principles.
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