HRC33: ADHRB calls attention to high number of arbitrarily detained prisoners

On September 13, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, on behalf of ADHRB, delivered an oral intervention at the 33rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva under Item 3. Please continue reading for full remarks or click here to download a PDF.

Mr. Chair-Rapporteur,

Alsalam Foundation, together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy would like to raise our concern over the remarkably high number of arbitrarily detained prisoners in Bahrain.  The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s has regularly raised its concern regarding the systematic use of arbitrary detention in Bahrain, in particular noting cases of prominent political and civil society figures.

For example, Hassan Mushaima, Secretary General of the Haq Movement for Democracy has been the subject of multiple urgent communications by the Working Group since his arbitrary detention began in March 2011, yet the Bahraini government continues his arbitrary life sentence to this day.

Likewise, Bahraini authorities also continue to arbitrarily detain Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace, one of Bahrain’s leading human rights and democracy leaders, and a colleague of Mushaima. Five years into his detention Dr. al-Singace’s health is in poor condition.

Finally, on 13 June 2016, Nabeel Rajab, was again arrested for his work as a human rights defender. Nabeel has been the subject of a number of Working Group decisions, including a similar instance in 2013, in which the Working Group concluded his detention to be arbitrary and in violation of articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

These cases are but some of the nearly 4,000 cases of the widespread and systematic arbitrary detention ongoing in Bahrain. Mr. Chair-Rapporteur, in instances such as this in Bahrain, what recommendations does your mandate have toward dismantling and reversing such an institutionalized system of abuse?

Thank you.