UN Experts Address Gov't of Bahrain on Violations against Sheikh Zuhair Ashour and Ali Al-Wazeer

2021-09-15 - 8:56 م

Bahrain Mirror: Mandates of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment published on its website a letter the groups sent to the Bahraini government on June 28, 2021, in which they expressed their concern about the acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners of conscience, Sheikh Zuhair Ashour and Ali Al-Wazeer.

The letter noted the human rights violations the two prisoners were subjected to including "arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture and non-access to due process," based on information provided by Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain to the working teams on the victims.

UN experts at the said offices urged the Government of Bahrain "to take all necessary measures to stop and prevent recurrence of violations and to ensure that anyone responsible for the alleged violations is held accountable."

It should be noted that after sending a letter of claim to the government, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention may refer the case through its normal procedures to express an opinion on the case of Sheikh Zuhair and Ali Al-Wazeer.The government must respond separately to the prosecution's letter and normal procedures.

The experts noted that "this pattern of violations is practiced against prisoners from the Shiite community in Bahrain", and raised concerns about torture and other cruel, inhuman or ill-treatment or punishment against Sheikh Zuhair Abbas (Ashour) and Ali Al-Wazeer.

They also expressed concern "regarding violations of the right to freedom and security of the two persons, and the right to a fair trial during the pre-sentencing stages". They denounced "reports of deplorable conditions of detention, excessive use of solitary confinement and denial of medical care, as well as denial of basic guarantees such as access to a lawyer and contact with the family."

They also expressed concern that the prisoners were "prevented from practicing their religious rituals, thereby amounting to a violation of their rights to freedom of religion and belief."

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) Executive Director, Husain Abdulla, said: "We welcome the publication of the prosecution letter sent by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to the Government of Bahrain. We affirm that the violations and ill-treatment of Sheikh Zuhair Ashour and Ali Al-Wazeer are a prevalent and systematic pattern of violations by the authorities in Bahrain against political prisoners on an ongoing basis."

"We hold the Ministry of Interior responsible for the continuing violations the two victims are being subjected to, we call for an urgent investigation to hold perpetrators and those responsible for the violations accountable, we call for an end to the policy of impunity, and we call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners," he stated.

Arabic Version