Manama Insults Dutch Diplomacy, Story of Refugee Ali Al-Shuwaikh
2019-03-04 - 8:01 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On October 20, 2018, a plane coming from the Netherlands landed in Bahrain. Dutch security men handed a Bahraini man named Ali Al-Shuwaikh on to the Bahrain state security apparatus, who were eagerly waiting for him.
Five months after being extradited, the Bahraini court issued its ruling against him on February 28, 2019. Last January, according to well-informed human rights sources, a representative of the Dutch Embassy in Bahrain, Wicher Slagter, tried to enter the courtroom where the hearing was held in public, but the court guards prevented him from entering despite his several attempts, which forced him to leave embarrassed. His country failed to help this man who resorted to it to protect his freedom and life. Here he is now in the hands of merciless authorities.
The Dutch Ambassador, residing in Kuwait, Frans Potuyt, must have known that the court issued a life sentence against Al-Shuwaikh, stripped him of his citizenship and fined him 500 BD, and that Al-Shuwaikh has now joined thousands of other political prisoners held in Jaw Central Prison.
It was a public meeting to which the Dutch diplomat Slagter was denied entry, although he had attended to specifically do so. Hence, it is a deliberate expulsion and a diplomatic insult.
For his part, the Dutch Ambassador, Frans Potuyt, had been in Bahrain a few days before the trial. He has recently met with the speaker of parliament, Fawzia Zainal, in a late move to no avail, as the man who barely managed to get out of this country for his freedom, has returned to it to spend his life in the worst prison in the Middle East. Just days ago, Bahrainis heard the news of the death of a Moroccan prisoner in this prison in mysterious conditions, after he had been ill-treated, bringing him closer to his death.
The Dutch diplomacy was insulted. Perhaps Al-Shuwaikh's story would also turn into a case that would trouble Mr. Mark Rutte's government, who failed to protect a human being who had sought refuge in his country, which sent him back to Bahrain, despite the human rights pleas, to be subjected to brutal torture, be deprived of all of his rights to defend himself, and spend the rest of his life imprisoned in a dark cell.
Ali Al-Shuwaikh, who the authorities so badly wanted to retaliate against along with his brother Fayyad Al-Shuwaikh, was delivered by the Netherlands by the hand to the executioners. Ali and Fayyad had fled Bahrain fearing for their freedom and lives. Ali was accused of harboring prisoners who escaped Jaw Central Prison.
Al-Shuwaikh was taken to the notorious Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, where thousands of detainees have been tortured since its opening. He disappeared there for a while; he was brutally tortured and signed a statement at the terrorist crimes prosecution, headed by another cruel official, Ahmed Al-Hammadi.
What happened to Al-Shuwaikh sheds light on the risks Bahrainis seeking refuge in other countries are exposed to, whom the authorities have never stopped pursuing, intimidating and threatening even the security of their families and relatives, as was the case of the relatives of human rights activist Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei, including his mother-in-law. The authorities fabricated a charge against them, planting fake bombs on the street, and mercilessly imprisoned them, in retaliation against Al-Wadaie.
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