Bahraini human rights activist and former Al Wefaq Consultive Council member Nizar Al Qari (49 years old) was arrested from his residence on Friday 5th of May & security forces raided his house again on Sunday 7th of May.
Al Qari got charged with illegal gathering, a charge that was recently brought against many human rights activists and politicians to be a justification for the imposition of travel bans. Al Qari is now detained for this charge which shows double standards in applying laws and that charges are imposed for nothing but targeting activists.
Sources close to Al Qari family said that he did not participate in any illegal gathering as claimed by the authorities. The sources also claimed that he was ill-treated and is in very poor condition, still unaware of the nature of the charges that shall be brought against him.
Al Qari is suffering from chronic asthma and there are concerns for his health after a recent contact with his family, where he was found to be suffering from high blood pressure. He told his family two days ago that he fears he would face false charges. He also claimed he is being subject to ill-treatment and still is in the Criminal Investigation Directorate CID and has not been transferred to the Dry Dock Prison yet.
On Sunday, May 7, at 1:30 am, the Bahraini authorities raided his father’s home with two riot vehicles, four civilian cars and several number of police personnel in civilian clothes. His wife was questioned, her personal handbag searched, his apartment was inspected, where computer devices, CDs and a set of electronic storage parts (USBs) were also confiscated.
SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights calls on the authorities in Bahrain to immediately release Nizar Al Qari where keeping him in custody on charges related and based on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is a clear violation of Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that is internationally guaranteed.
All confessions that are extracted and preceded by ill-treatment do not represent any legal basis against the detainee, but forms a conviction against the Bahraini authorities itself. The measures taken against Al Qari to this day are arbitrary and violates the law and the rights of the accused.
We also call on the Bahraini authorities to seize its target campaign against activists and workers in the human rights fields.
SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights