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15 Int’l HR Groups Send Urgent Letter to World Powers: Bahrain's Reprisals against Alwadaei’s Family Must End

2017-10-28 - 8:16 p

Bahrain Mirror: Fifteen international rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Reprieve, Reporters without Borders (RSF) and Index on Censorship, sent a joint letter to a number of world powers and international and UN groups to urgently raise, both publicly and privately, the case of Sayed Ahmad Alwadaei's relatives, Sayed Nazar Alwadaei, Hajar Mansoor Hasan and Mahmood Marzooq Mansoor, stressing on the necessity to end any retaliation practiced by the authorities against them.

The joint letter addressing Canada, Denmark, European Union External Action (EEAS), France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States called for raising their case ahead of the verdict in their criminal trial on 30 October 2017, noting that "these three individuals are relatives of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, a Bahraini human rights defender based in the United Kingdom, and his wife Duaa Alwadaei."

The rights organization highlighted that Alwadaei has been targeted by Bahraini authorities for his human rights activism on numerous occasions and has been granted refugee status in the UK. "We believe that Mr Alwadaei's relatives are being prosecuted solely as a reprisal against him and the trial forms part of a pattern of harassment against his family," they added.

The HR groups further stated that the treatment of the Alwadaei family has been the subject of international criticism. Six UN human rights experts raised "grave concerns" over the family's allegations of torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and the apparent aim of the Government of Bahrain to "intimidate and impair Mr Alwadaei's human rights activities", including his participation at the UN Human Rights Council.

"We urge your government to request Bahrain to immediately release Mr and Mrs Alwadaei's relatives ahead of their 30 October trial and drop all charges against them, and undertake prompt, impartial, independent and effective investigations into their allegations of torture and other ill-treatment," the joint letter also read, further stressing that "the findings of the investigation must be made public and anyone suspected of criminal responsibility must be brought to justice in fair proceedings."

The groups said that as this case is a part of a pattern of abuse and harassment against human rights defenders and their families in Bahrain, they urge these parties to call on Bahrain to cease all harassment of human rights defenders and their families.

In March 2017, while Mr Alwadaei was attending the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mrs Alwadaei's brother Sayed Nazar Alwadaei, her cousin Mahmoud Marzooq Mansoor and her mother Hajar Mansoor Hassan were arrested in Bahrain. They all claim that they were subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extensively interrogated, including in relation to Mr Alwadaei's life and work in the United Kingdom, without the presence of their lawyers.

The signatories of the joint letter are: Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), Amnesty International, Article 19, Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), CIVICUS, English PEN, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR), Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Index on Censorship, PEN International, REDRESS, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and REPRIEVE.


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