15 January 2019 – A Bahraini government spokesperson told Reuters there was no threat to Araibi’s [Hakeem AlAraibi] life and he could appeal if he returned.
“The two people convicted with him appealed against their convictions and were found not guilty under due legal process by Bahrain’s independent judiciary,” the spokesperson said.
The Bahraini government spokesperson’s statement came after Reuters asked for a comment on AlAraibi’s case.
Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights insists that the judge who sentenced Hakeem AlAraibi in 2014, Mohammad Bin Ali AlKhalifa, is a member of the Royal Family. AlKhalifa refused to consider Hakeem’s evidence of innocence and rejected to interrogate in Alaraibi’s claim of torture.
Commenting, Yahya Alhadid President of Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR), said “the Bahraini government are trading on the legal procedures to distract the international public opinion. The percentage of putting an end to the policy of impunity, and prosecuting the security members who are involved in torture in Bahrain is 0%. “
“If Hakeem was extradited back to Bahrain, he will face continuous electric shocks, because he dared to criticise a member of the Royal Family. We had a previous experience with the political detainee the athlete Hamad Al-Fahed, whose sentence was harshened (from 15 years in prison to a life sentence) following speaking out about the torture he was subjected to, electric shocks, and stripping him naked. ” Alhadid added.
The judge, Mohammad Bin Ali AlKhalifa, who sentenced Alaraibi had upheld the Court of Cassation’s sentence against the prominent human rights defender, Nabeel Rajab, a few days ago, over a tweet posted on his personal Twitter account.
He is also convicted of issuing dozens of arbitrary sentences against prisoners of conscience in Bahrain. He had stripped 57 Bahrainis of their citizenship for political reasons.
The same judge sentenced Bahrain’s opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, to 9 years in jail, although the international human rights community condemned such a sentence.
AlKhalifa had, also, upheld the death sentence against the victim of torture Maher AlKhabaz.