On Friday 21 September, during the Agenda Item 5 General Debate of the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain delivered an oral intervention, reading a portion of a letter written by Hajar Mansour Hassan, an arbitrarily detained Bahraini reprisal victim cited in the Secretary General’s report on reprisals. The letter details Hajar’s arrest, interrogation, and torture, which the security forces used as a way to pressure activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei from continuing his activism. Continue reading for the text of the intervention, or click here for a PDF of the intervention.

Mr. President

ADHRB would like to read a portion of a letter we recently received from Hajar Mansour Hassan, an arbitrarily detained in Bahraini reprisal victim cited in the Secretary General’s report on reprisals.

“I was arrested on March 5th 2017, two days after the arrest of my son and nephew, and was interrogated for three days. Most of the interrogation was asking me for information about my son in-law, human rights activist Sayed Ahmad Al-Wadaei.

During my interrogation, I was hit with an office hole punch, and my fingerprints were taken while I was passed out. I was insulted by obscene and humiliating words. I was spat on, and they threatened to hold me in a room full of rats. They exerted psychological torture and interrogated me for long periods of time without any meals or drinking water.

My arrest was only a means to put pressure on my son in-law, Al-Wadaei, to stop his activism. My daughter was also targeted to exert pressure on her husband and was threatened that her family members would be arrested if her husband did not stop his activism.

I am detained with my son and nephew. We were sentenced to 3 years in jail and deprived of freedom simply because Mr. Ahmed belongs to our family, and we are being used as a means of pressure to stop his activism and retaliate against him.”

Hajer sent her letter despite facing continued intimidation and harassment in reprisal for her speaking out. Additionally, her son has been sentenced to 8 more years on further arbitrary charges.

We condemn Bahrain’s ongoing campaign of reprisals against HRDs, activists and their families, and call for the release of Hajer Mansour, her family members, and all arbitrarily detained persons in Bahrain.

Thank you.