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GIDHR: INTERPOL Has Become Dangerous… Activists Handed over to Regime Tortured

2021-12-22 - 2:14 am

Bahrain Mirror: The Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) issued a study entitled "Pursuit Beyond the Borders...We will Get You Wherever You Are" . The study sheds light on one of the methods the Bahraini authority uses to target opponents abroad. It also documents the danger that threatens individuals even after seeking asylee status that secures them protection.

The GIDHR says "this danger has been exacerbated following the appointment of Emirati Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi as the head of INTERPOL. This position grants a unique degree of authority to dictatorial governments, such as the one in the UAE, with Al-Raisi at the helm. Al-Raisi is accused of overseeing the arrest and torture of detainees in Emirati prisons."

The institute sees that "His victory threatens the credibility of INTERPOL and its ability to adhere to its policies of impartiality and respect for human rights and to perform its mission effectively and objectively," demanding the countries where government dissidents resort to fulfill their legal and international obligations and grant them the protection they seek.

The study mentions cases of Bahraini activists who have been handed over to Bahrain and were brutally tortured and sentened to long term sentences.

The case of detained activist Ali Haroun was the first to be discussed in the study. Thai authorities arrested Ali Haroun on December 13, 2014 in the capital Bangkok while he was trying to board a Turkish Airlines flight bound for Iraq. They handed him over to the Bahraini authorities after he was tortured by Thai officers.  He was brutally tortured in Bahrain, his eardrums were ruptured due to severe beatings. He was handed harsh sentences that amounted to life imprisonment and an additional three years.

The second case was for detainee Ali Al-Shwaikh who was handed by the Dutch authorities on October 20, 2018 to members of Bahrain's National Security Agency who were waiting for him at the airport. He was then transferred to the Criminal Investigations Directorate, severly tortured, and forced to sign confessions at the Terror Crime Prosecution. Ali is sentenced to 30 years in jail and is now at the notorious Jaw Central Prison. 

The Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights was founded in Australia in 2016 by a group of Bahraini activists, aiming to promote the respect for democratic principles, as well as establishing the human rights and social justice principles, and stopping the human rights violations in the Gulf Region in general and in Bahrain in particular. It is now headed by Bahraini activist Yayha Al-Hadid.

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