Following Adel Flaifel’s Footsteps in the 90s: Pay Us and We’ll Free Your Sons Early

2018-09-21 - 2:12 ص

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Case 1: Two weeks before Eid Al-Adha, one of the political prisoners' family received a phone call from a party who works at the Interior Ministry. The family's son had served three quarters of his sentence and only had a few months to spend in prison. The caller said: If you want to celebrate Eid with your son, pay 6,000 BD!

Case 2: Al-Ayam newspaper published on September 4, 2018 the following case narrated by one of its readers: I have a brother who is convicted to 11 years in prison over a criminal case. He completed 9 years of the term. The prison's administration informed us that he is a candidate for a pardon, since he received a certificate of good conduct and has served three quarters of his prison term. We were asked to pay 5,000 BD as a fine to include him in the pardon. We were given a period of 6 days before Eid Al-Adha to pay the fine in the court. We paid the whole fine after we selling the most precious things we owned, in order to free our brother, who met all the conditions and was eligible for a pardon according to the court and prison's administration. After the time set for his release ended, we checked with the competent party and we were told that the certificate given to him was out-of-date and thus his release might be suspended.

This isn't new. Exploitation of authority and blackmailing people for money is nothing new. These incidents have been happening since the 1990s and are still taking place this day. The previous colonel and executioner Adel Flaifel is one of the masters of this kind of exploitation and blackmail for releasing prisoners. Many similar stories have taken place but families don't talk about them or disclose them, fearing reprisals or legal accountability over bribery charges.

This is how the story goes. Before the holidays and official and national occasions, a group of officers linked to the security apparatus in particular and a number of staff who work around the prisons and Ministry of the Interior and are knowledgeable about the conditions of prisoners in various prisons (civil/political/criminal) across the country contact the families of prisoners and trick them to believe that their sons are about to be released. They also deceive them into thinking that they will mediate with the official authorities to add their names to the upcoming official pardon lists. The families' hopes go up, and before they get a chance to enjoy this news, the caller asks for money in return for this service.

The negotiation process then begins on the required amount. Negotiations continue for days. The amounts are determined based on the family's economic level. The higher the family's income is the higher the sum gets. Meanwhile, poor families are given the suggestion to either borrow from the bank or their family and relatives. The caller keeps bargaining with the families on what they can pay, then they agree to deliver the money in cash and full confidentiality, as cheques are rejected.

Families are warned to keep the matter confidential, and not to disclose anything in order to protect their sons and the family itself. After receiving the money, these people behind the phone calls disappear and the phone stops ringing. If the families try to call again, they stall, argue, or ignore the calls. The families at times find that these numbers are either out of service or belong to different people.

Some prisoners who get released after such a deal have already served three quarters of their sentence with proof of good conduct, which makes the release a legal right of the prisoner, and in some cases the families are made to believe that their sons received a general pardon or special pardon for various reasons. However, what is strange is that no one has addressed this issue due to the secrecy surrounding it.

A few days ago, citizens were surprised by a statement made by Faisal Foulaz, a former shura member, about "the imminent launch of a general pardon decree" for a "significant" number of convicts including "a prominent human rights defender"'. The news was widely circulated among citizens and on social media. Some believe that this is just news to distract the public opinion and others said that it is an attempt to cool down the atmosphere and prepare the ground for the upcoming elections. However, some described it as a mere popping of a balloon.

In fact, we are still waiting to see what was behind this balloon. However, behind the scenes, there are deceitful people taking advantage of the hope these poor families seek from such a statement. Confidential negotiations are being conducted by fraudsters (interior ministry officers and other officials), who tell the families of prisoners: We can get your sons out via the next pardon in return for a sum of money...


Arabic Version


التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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