Continued detention of the family of UK-based Bahraini human rights defender

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei was granted refugee status in the UK in 2012 in recognition of the dangers he faced in Bahrain because of his work as a human rights defender while in the country and continued work with SRT grantee the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD). In 2017, Mr Alwadaei’s brother-in-law, Sayed Nizar, mother-in-law, Hajer Mansoor, and cousin, Mahmood Marzooq – were sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly planting fake bombs. They have all been subjected to ill-treatment whilst in prison, due to their family ties to Sayed Alwadei.

The final appeal court ruling in the cases of these family members is due to be issued on 25 February 2019. On 7th January 2019, The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released its opinion in relation to the cases of Hajer, Sayed and Mahmood. The Working Group found their ongoing detention to be in contravention to international human rights law, arbitrary and an act of reprisal due to their relationship with Sayed Alwadaei. It urged the Bahraini government to release the victims immediately and grant them their right to compensation.

According to Amnesty International, Hajer Mansoor has increasing health issues and has been denied access to medical care while in prison.
In a statement to Reuters, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said: “It’s difficult for me to live freely when I know that others are imprisoned because of my actions. I just hope that this important decision influences the Bahraini authorities to end the torment of my family and grant their release.”

Full story on BIRD’s website:

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention opinion:

Amnesty International Urgent Action:

Guardian article:

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