After one month, Bahraini man remains disappeared

UPDATE: On the evening of 27 November 2016, the family informed that Sayed Alawi Husain Alawi Husain called his mother and his wife. Sayed Alawi reported the he was being held in detention at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). It is unclear at this time why CID authorities did not inform Sayed Alawi’s family of his location for the more than one-month time period that he has been in detention. 


The family of Sayed Alawi Husain Alawi Husain remains unaware of his location or physical state after one month since his detention and disappearance. Despite attempted engagement with authorities in Bahrain’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and the Office of the Ombudsman, officials continue to withhold information about the whereabouts of Sayed Alawi.

In the afternoon of 24 October 2016, unknown armed men detained Sayed Alawi from his workplace. Multiple cars reportedly surrounded Sayed Alawis worksite, raided his office, confiscated his electronic devices, and then took him to an undisclosed location. That evening, Sayed Alawi’s wife attempted to get in contact with him. She called him multiple times, but she was unsuccessful in her attempts to reach him. Sayed Alawi’s wife eventually resorted to filing a disappearance notice with local police at Badi’ police station. Soon after Sayed Alawi’s wife filed her husband’s disappearance notice, authorities at the Badi’ police station reportedly informed her that Sayed Alawi was present at the CID. Authorities directed Sayed Alawi’s wife to cancel the disappearance notice.

On 25 October 2016, Sayed Alawi’s wife filed a notice with the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s office told Sayed Alawi’s wife they would communicate updates on his case to her. Later that day, Sayed Alawi’s wife attempted to contact officials at the Ombudsman’s office multiple times. Authorities eventually told Sayed Alawi’s wife that they had no information about her husband’s whereabouts. The next day, Sayed Alawi’s wife traveled to the CID to see her husband. Upon arrival at the CID, security personnel informed his wife that Sayed Alawi was not present at CID.

On 1 November 2016, Sayed Alawi’s wife again returned to the CID to ask about the location of her husband. The security personnel neither confirmed nor denied Sayed Alawi’s presence at the CID facilities. On 3 November 2016 in the evening, CID authorities called Sayed Alawi’s wife. The CID authorities reportedly informed her that officials transferred Sayed Alawi to Dry Dock Detention Center. CID authorities told Sayed Alawi’s wife she could go to Dry Dock on 6 November 2016 to see him.

On 6 November 2016, Sayed Alawi’s wife traveled to Dry Dock to see her husband. Upon arrival at Dry Dock, officials denied Sayed Alawi’s presence at the detention facility. The next day, a lawyer called Sayed Alawi’s family and informed them that Sayed Alawi had been presented before the Public Prosecution Office (PPO). After his appearance before PPO officials, forces reportedly transferred Sayed Alawi to Dry Dock. The next day on 8 November 2016, the family again traveled to Dry Dock to see Sayed Alawi. For the second time, Dry Dock officials denied Sayed Alawi’s presence at the facility. Authorities refused to give the family information about Sayed Alawi’s whereabouts.

The wife and family have attempted to engage with authorities in order to learn Sayed Alawi’s location and state of being. Officials at the General Prosecution Office told Sayed Alawi’s wife that they did not have him in detention at their facilities. The officials told Sayed Alawi’s wife that she could send an official letter to request a visit with Sayed Alawi, which she did. Thus far, the letter has not proved successful. The Ombudsman’s office contacted Sayed Alawi’s wife on 14 November 2016 to ask her about updates on Sayed Alawi’s case. Sayed Alawi’s wife informed the officials that her multiple attempts with several different officials, including the Ombudsman, had proved unsuccessful in gaining information about the whereabouts of her husband. The Ombudsman’s office reportedly responded by saying they would send Sayed Alawi’s wife updates soon.

It has now been one month since the detention and disappearance of Sayed Alawi. Bahraini government officials have failed to provide the family with information about the location of Sayed Alawi. In addition to his whereabouts, the family does not know the state of Sayed Alawi’s health.

The Government of Bahrain has violated their commitments under international law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty to which Bahrain acceded in 2006, guarantees that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.” Anyone who is detained must be presented with a warrant and “informed, at the time of the arrest, of the reasons for his arrest.” When detaining him, Bahraini forces did not present a warrant or inform Sayed Alawi’s family of reasons for his arrest. Additionally, Article 17 of the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICED) outlines that governments must “guarantee that any person deprived of liberty shall be authorized to communicate with and be visited by his or her family.” After one month, the Government of Bahrain still refuses to disclose information to the family of Sayed Alawi’s whereabouts and state of health.