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Parliamentary questions
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16 November 2017
E-007076-17
Question for written answer E-007076-17
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Julie Ward (S&D)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Bahrain: family of UK-based activist detained and tortured
 Answer in writing 

Since 2016, the Bahraini authorities have pursued reprisals against the family members of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.

In March 2017, as a consequence of Sayed Alwadaei’s human rights activity, his brother-in-law, his mother-in-law and a cousin were arrested and accused of planting ‘fake bombs’ near the capital. They are currently detained and are being prosecuted on fabricated terrorism charges. They have denied the accusations and claim that they were coerced into confessing by Bahraini security forces. Despite the prosecution finding no forensic evidence linking them to the crime they are accused of committing, they remain in detention without bail.

On 6 September 2017, six UN experts expressed ‘grave concern’ that the arrests were intended to ‘intimidate and impair the human rights activities’ of Sayed Alwadaei. They also note the existence of ‘significant grounds’ for supposing that the three individuals may be subjected to further ill-treatment.

1. Does the EU share the concern expressed in the statement by the UN experts?

2. Will the EU call on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release Sayed Alwadaei’s family and to stop silencing dissenting voices, including those abroad?

3. What action has the EU to undertaken to put an end to the harassment of human rights defenders in Bahrain?

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