Statement 24th April 2013

To whom it may concern,


No more than a month has passed since the speech of BRAVOS’ Chairman, Nada Dhaif, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva which expressed deep concerns about the exposure of some members of the delegation and their families to the arrest, retaliation and harassment, concentrating on the treatment of activists Mohammed AlBuflasa and Ali Fakhrawi.

Building on these concerns, a meeting was held by the head of the Office of the President of the Human Rights Council with the concerned activists in which they were reassured that this issue will be dealt with very seriously.

On Friday the 19th of April 2013, Hassan Abo Qassim, the brother of Ali Fakhrawi was arrested to begin a renewed series of suffering for the family. This has occurred during a time when wounds are yet to heal following the Bahraini regime’s actions of retaliation against the concerned family, leading to individuals being arbitrarily detained, killed and displaced against the principles of all international human rights conventions.

Four days had passed before the family of Hassan gained any information regarding the fate of their son, despite family members (accompanied by a lawyer) submitting official enquiries to officials only for the response that they were unaware of Ali’s location. The family were therefore shocked to see a group of masked civilians accompanied by military personnel attack their home to tamper with and steal some of their belongings.

Additionally, a phone call from Hassan today was cut off after 10 seconds when he attempted to inform the family of his location at the Centre of Criminal Investigations and noted that he will inform them when they were allowed to visit. The phone call was cut by the authorities before Hassan could finish his sentence, he sounded extremely exhausted from the notorious torture which is common at the Centre of Criminal Investigation where the words ‘torture’ and ‘police investigations’ go hand in hand.

During this time when the family of Hassan (and their acting NGO) are seeking help from international organisations to stop these violations and uncover the fate of their son, the regime bears full responsibility for any harm, God forbid, to Hassan.

It is also imperative to note that Hassan has been deprived of Bahraini nationality, despite Bahrain being his country of birth, his mother being a Bahraini national, and his father living in Bahrain for more than 55 years. This is another example of the many forms of discrimination systematically taking place in the country against a particular section of society.

Thank you for your cooperation.