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HRW: Alawi is Forcibly Disappeared, his Chances of Fair Trial Look Very Low

2016-12-22 - 8:34 p

Bahrain Mirror: Human Rights Watch said that the Bahraini authorities held a telecommunications engineer incommunicado for five weeks without access to a lawyer or his family. The authorities failed to provide accurate information on the whereabouts of the engineer, Sayed Alawi, from his arrest on October 24, 2016, until November 27.

HRW said in a statement "Denying a person's detention or refusing to provide information on a detainee's whereabouts, places the detainee outside the protection of the law, constitutes an enforced disappearance and should be promptly investigated and those responsible held to account."

"It's difficult to square the serious violations of basic rights and safeguards in this case with Bahrain's claims that it protects detainees' rights," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Whatever charges Alawi is going to face, his chances of a fair trial look very low and his family's concerns for his well-being are absolutely justified."

Alawi's wife, Majida Nasser, told Human Rights Watch that the family made repeated efforts to learn his whereabouts, which were met with both denials and contradictory and apparently inaccurate replies. The family finally learned of Alawi's location when he called them on November 27. He said he was being held at the Interior Ministry's Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) headquarters.

HRW further stated that the CID has been the subject of continuing credible allegations of torture, adding that "Alawi's detention is related to alleged violations of Bahrain's anti-terrorism law."

Majida Nasser said the family is aware of the allegations of torture at the directorate's facilities and expressed concerns for her husband's well-being. Mohamed al-Tajer, a lawyer appointed by the family, has yet to be allowed see his client and said that the office of the public prosecutor failed to respond to his request to be present during Alawi's questioning on October 31.

Nasser said she has submitted numerous complaints to various official bodies, including those with a specific mandate to protect detainees' rights. They include two formal written complaints to the Interior Ministry Ombudsman, on October 25 and December 1; a written complaint to the Interior Ministry's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on December 3; a written complaint to the Office of the Public Prosecutor on November 10; and a verbal complaint to the National Institute of Human Rights on November 17.

Arabic Version    


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