United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a document expressing “grave concern” to the Bahraini government at the allegations of arbitrary arrest and detention of three relatives of Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei, as well as death threats and treatment amounting to torture.
Security officers arrested AlWadaei’s brother-in-law Sayed Nazar AlWadaei, mother-in-law Hajar Mansoor Hasan, and maternal cousin Mahmood Marzooq Mansoor in March 2017. They were reportedly targeted in relation to Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei’s human rights work. After days of detention without official charge, the three individuals were presented with terrorism charges, based largely on coerced confessions and “confidential sources”.
Security officials interrogated Hajar Mansoor, 49, for three periods each lasting around 11 hours between 5 and 7 March. Officers allegedly forced her to stand for extended periods and humiliated her with abusive language. They also allegedly threatened to cancel the family’s commercial licenses, suspend her husband’s pension payments and arrest her daughter, son-in-law and youngest son.
Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei is Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD). He is a noted human rights advocate and the UN communication expresses “concern” that the arrests may have occurred “at least in part, in reprisal for [Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei’s] cooperation with the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, in particular his attendance to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council”, which coincided with the arrests