Bahrain: MEP Julie Ward (S&D) issued a parliamentary question on the detention of Habib Ali Mubarak

On the 12th of December 2018, MEP Julie Ward (S&D) addressed the issue to the detention of Habib Ali Mubarak, a human right activist detained in Jau Prison (Bahrain) in a parliamentary question to VP/HR Federica Mogherini and the EU Commission.

On the 12th of December 2018, MEP Julie Ward (S&D) issued a parliamentary question to VP/HR Federica Mogherini and the EU Commission for the detention of the human rights activist in Bahrain, Mr. Habib Ali Mubarak, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison on arson charge. As MEP Ward pointed out, after an unwarranted raid in Mubarak’s house in October 2014, the political activist surrendered to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) who has been held responsible for his inhuman treatments. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison on the 19th of November 2015, on charges of setting fire to a municipal building for terrorist purposes. Despite having a strong alibi at the time of the alleged crime and of the submissions to the court, he was forced to confess his involvement through torture and abuse. Currently, he remains in Jau Prison, and has recently been informed that new terrorist charges may be brought against him.

Considering these observations, MEP Ward asked the following two questions:

Can the VP/HR clarify whether the EU Mission in Riyadh is familiar with his case, and whether this case will be raised at the highest levels of the Bahraini Government?

Given that Mr Mubarak was convicted in an unfair trial, can the VP/HR confirm whether concerns surrounding the judicial system will be raised at the highest levels of the Bahraini Government?

In a reply to Ms. Ward, VP/HR Federica Mogherini highlighted that the European External Action Service (EEAS) is closely monitoring Habib Ali Habib Mohamed Hasan Mubarak’s case as well as the overall human rights situation in the country, both from the Headquarters and the EU Delegation in Riyadh. Furthermore, Ms. Mogherini informed that the EU-Bahrain Human Rights dialogue on 15 May 2018, in Manama, offered an opportunity to discuss all issues pertaining to fair trial and the overall human rights situation in Bahrain. Moreover, she affirmed that the concern about the overall deterioration of the situation in Bahrain was delivered by the EU representatives in a statement under item 2 at the Human Rights Council on 19 June 2018 in Geneva. The referred assertion is calling upon the authorities to respect inter-alia the right to a fair trial.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) welcomes the question of MEP Julie Ward (S&D) and the answer of VP/HR Federica Mogherini. We share concerns over the ongoing infringements of human rights in Bahrain and the lack of true commitment to fair trial and imprisonment of every detained activist. ECDHR calls upon the government of Bahrain to put an end to every form of torture against detainees, to the immediate and unconditional release of all the detained human rights activists, women, human rights defenders and political activists currently detained in the Kingdom. Lastly, ECDHR calls upon the EU to continue pressing on Bahrain for more inclusive reforms on the subject.

Please find below a full copy of the question of MEP Julie Ward (S&D).

Question for written answer to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative), submitted by MEP Julie Ward (S&D) on December 12, 2018.

Habib Ali Habib Mohamed Hasan Mubarak is a Bahraini citizen who was arrested without a warrant, forcibly disappeared, and subjected to torture in 2014. His wife and infant son were also arrested and imprisoned for over eight months on charges of illegal assembly and assaulting security officers. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of setting fire to a municipal building for terrorist purposes, in spite of having a strong alibi at the time of the alleged crime and submissions to the court by three of his co-defendants that they had been subjected to torture to coerce them into making confessions. He remains in Jau Prison and has recently been informed that new terrorist charges may be brought against him.

  1. Can the VP/HR clarify whether the EU Mission in Riyadh is familiar with his case, and whether this case will be raised at the highest levels of the Bahraini Government?
  2. Given that Mr Mubarak was convicted in an unfair trial, can the VP/HR confirm whether concerns surrounding the judicial system will be raised at the highest levels of the Bahraini Government?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice President Mogherini, on February 1, 2019.

The European External Action Service is closely monitoring Habib Ali Habib Mohamed Hasan Mubarak’s case as well as the overall human rights situation in the country from Headquarters and via the EU Delegation in Riyadh (which is also accredited to Bahrain), in close cooperation with EU Member States represented in Manama.

The informal EU-Bahrain Human Rights dialogue on 15 May 2018 in Manama offered an important opportunity to discuss all issues pertaining to fair trial and the overall human rights situation in the country. Furthermore, in a statement delivered under item 2 at the Human Rights Council on 19 June 2018 in Geneva, the EU expressed its concern about the overall deterioration of the situation in Bahrain, calling upon the authorities to respect inter-alia the right to a fair trial.

 

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