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Human Rights Advocates Urge Armenia’s Authorities Not to Extradite Bahraini Activist Detained in Yerevan

Eleven international human rights organizations have expressed serious concern over the arrest of Bahraini activist Fadhil Radhi in Armenia following his escape from Bahrain after being sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of explosives, vandalism, and terrorism. In a joint statement issued on January 4, however, the human rights organizations claim Radhi's conviction was based solely on “political and arbitrary reasons,” while “Bahrain has an abundantly clear history of detaining and sentencing activists, pegging unfounded charges on them, and extracting false confessions through severe torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Following Radhi's capture by Armenian police on January 1, 2016 at Zvartnots International Airport, Bahraini law enforcement authorities issued a warning to the International Criminal Police Organization, ICPC, demanding that the ICPC take the necessary steps to extradite the activist back to Bahrain.

The human rights organizations, on the other hand, urge Armenia's authorities to take into account the fact that the Bahraini judiciary is “significantly prejudiced and has a repetitive habit of using its powers as a tool to suppress human rights and political citizens,” as confirmed on a number of occasions by independent and international human rights organizations. “Thus, charges and orders against Mr. Radhi emanating from the Bahraini judiciary should not be immediately accepted […] Mr. Radhi and many other Bahrainis on the ICPC criminal list were put there by request of the Bahraini authorities after being pursued by the Bahraini judiciary in a fashion contrary to international standards. The Bahraini authorities have repeatedly pursued human rights, civil, and political activists internationally, and uses international agreements to assist it in this regard.”

The organizations call on the Armenian authorities not to comply with the requests by Bahrain's authorities to extradite Radhi, “without making sure there is a clear criminal case against him that came about through an impartial and independent judiciary that possesses capabilities to administer fair trials.”

Signatory organisations:

Bahrain Forum for Human Rights
Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victim of Torture
International Council for fair trial and Human Rights
Arabic Committee for Human Rights
The European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights
Justice Human Rights Organization
The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms
SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights
Human Rights and Democracy Media Center
Oman Center for Human Rights Studies
Aman Network for Rehabilitation and Defense of Human Rights