Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The death of Wahid Rashid Al-Dosari, chairman of the Bahrain Fishermen Society (BFS), was announced late Tuesday (April 6, 2021). Al-Dosari was sentenced to a five-year prison sentence over charges of receiving funds from a former Qatari minister to finance his election campaign in 2018.
Al-Dosari and Hassan Al-Arabi were arrested in connection to the crisis and tension that occurred between Bahrain and three other countries with Qatar, after Manama and these countries severed their diplomatic relations with Doha on June 5th, 2017.
The news of Al-Dosari's death was published on social media. Bahraini and Qatari personal accounts confirmed the news by posting the obituary of his death, but those accounts did not indicate that he was in prison at the time of his death, as it is certain that Al-Dossari's prison term hadn't ended yet.
Tracking the details of his case shows that Al-Dosari began his trial in 2018, and a first-instance court ruling was issued against him on December 3, 2018. The High Court of Appeal upheld the ruling on May 28, 2019, and on October 10, 2019, the Court of Cassation finally confirmed the ruling of his imprisonment for five years, while Hassan Al-Arabi was sentenced to three years in prison.
It is noteworthy that the late Wahid Al-Dosari was a well-known social activist and had strong ties with the former Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman. He also ran in the parliamentary elections for the second constituency in Muharraq.
What are the details of Wahid Al-Dosari's case?
The Bahraini Public Prosecution raised against Al-Dosari two charges. The first claims that he sought out and communicated with a foreign country and acted in its interest with the intention of harming his country's political position and national interests, by communicating with the State of Qatar and with Abdullah Khalid Al Thani, who works for Qatar's interest. It further claims that they decided that he runs for Parliament in the Kingdom with financial support from Qatar, and that through that candidacy and upon gaining the status of membership in Parliament, he would implement its directives, approach and plots against the ruling system in the Kingdom.
As for the second charge, the Public Prosecution accused him of requesting and accepting for himself a gift from a foreign country and from someone who works in its favor with the intention of committing an act harmful to the national interest of the country, by requesting and accepting for himself sums of up to 10,000 dinars from the State of Qatar, and from Abdullah Khalid Al Thani, noting that this was in return for running for the House of Representatives in the Kingdom, through which he would work to implement the plans and approach of this State towards opposing and harming the government of Bahrain.
Meanwhile Hassan Al-Arabi was charged for knowing of the aforementioned crimes and not reporting them to the authorities.
The prosecution also accused the first and second defendants of collecting funds in the period between 2013-2018, without obtaining a license to do so from the competent authorities, which goes against the provisions of the law, receiving cash from outside Bahrain by direct cash collection, and transferring the money to their bank accounts. The first defendant through his account at the International Bank of Qatar and Qatari Masraf Al Rayan (Bank), received in cash a total amount of 52,126 dinars, and the second, in cash and through his account at a bank in Bahrain, a total of 173,678 dinars.
And just like that, amid ambiguity, the curtain was closed on the life of the former head of the Fishermen Society, who passed away after the crisis with Qatar ended, with the failure of the boycott of Doha, and the failure of exploiting that crisis to settle local political scores with the opposition and with others outside the opposition such as Wahid Al-Dosari.