On 16 September 2016, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD, delivered an oral intervention on behalf of ADHRB under item 3 at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council on the use of arbitrary detentions by the Government of Bahrain.

Please continue reading for full remarks or click here to download a PDF.

Mr. President,

Alsalam Foundation, together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, would like to raise our concern over increasing trends of arbitrary detention.

For example, in the special procedures’ joint communications report released this week, the mandates raised concerns about the detention of the human rights activist Zeinab al-Khawaja and her infant son in Bahrain. While Zeinab has now been released and forced into exile under threat of renewed indefinite detention, many others in Bahrain face different circumstances.

Following the arbitrary denaturalization of Bahrain’s Shia religious leader, Sheikh Isa Qassim, hundreds, if not thousands, of people took to the streets of the village of Diraz to stage a peaceful sit in around his home to prevent his deportation. Since then, the Bahraini government has begun systematically targeting other Shia clerics with interrogations, harassment, arrest and arbitrary detentions in relation to their gathering in Diraz in support of Sheikh Isa.

Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa were sentenced to death and have exhausted all legal remedies. Bahraini courts convicted them exclusively on confessions extracted under torture. The Police Ombudsman has actively covered up and refused to investigate credible allegations of torture in their cases. It has also sought to mislead the EU Parliament and UK government regarding these cases. Other prisoners sentenced to death were subjected to torture and unfair trials, including Abbas Alsameeaa, Sami Mushaima, Ali AlSingace Mahir Alkhabaz and Salman Isa.

We therefore call on all states, including Bahrain, to end the practice of arbitrary arrest and detention, and for the immediate release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners.

Thank you.