At HRC51, ADHRB calls for the release of Ahmed Jaafar Ali and other political prisoners in Bahrain

On 21 September, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 51 under item 3, during the General debate. ADHRB calls for the release of Ahmed Jaafar Ali and other political prisoners in Bahrain.

Mr. President,

Americans for Democracy and Human RIghts in Bahrain would like to bring to the attention of the council the case of Ahmed Jaafar Ali, a Bahraini citizen who was recently extradited from Serbia back to Bahrain in cooperation with INTERPOL.

On 24 January 2022, Ahmed was flown out of Serbia to Bahrain, where he was handed over to the Bahraini authorities. This came despite the injunction sent by the European Court of Human Rights three days earlier. They called for halting Ahmed’s extradition until after February 25, so the court can be provided with further information including the conditions and risk of torture that he might face if he returned.

Ahmed was sentenced, in absentia, to two life sentences in several unfair trials since 2012. In one of the cases, three of his co-defendants were tortured and then executed. Ahmed was previously tortured by the Bahraini security forces in 2007 and faced a similar risk at the time of his extradition. He has made it clear that he wished to apply for asylum in Serbia on multiple occasions since his arrest in November 2021 on the basis of a red notice issued in 2015 at the request of Bahrain. Despite the danger and his pleas, he was not granted asylum and was returned to Bahrain where he faces severe torture.

The extradition of Ahmed represents a significant breach of international law. We call upon the international community to ensure that Ahmed is released and allowed to safely leave Bahrain, considering the risk to his life shall he remain imprisoned.

Thank you.