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Arrested Bahraini Activist Gone Missing in Yerevan: Human Rights Defender Fears ‘Quiet’ Extradition

Fadhil Radhi, a Bahraini citizen who was arrested by Armenia's law enforcement upon his arrival at Yerevan's Zvartnots airport on January 1, 2016, was released on January 31 from Nubarashen penitentiary, however his location is currently unknown, Helsinki Association head, human rights defender Mikayel Danielyan told Epress.am Monday.

Danielyan said he feared that Armenian authorities would quietly extradite Radhi to Bahrain's “authoritarian regime” who accuse him of terrorism, illegal possession of weapons, and attempted murder; meanwhile, Radhi “is a civic activist and is being prosecuted for political reasons.”

The human rights defender added that Radhi was supposed to be released this Sunday after a month-long detention in Yerevan's Nubarashen jail. At noon Sunday, representatives of the local office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees along with Radhi's lawyer went to Nubarashen to meet the detainee upon his release. They, however, were told by prison staff that the Bahraini had already been picked up by employees of the Migration Service of Armenia, who, for their part, have denied this information. 

Human rights advocates are currently preparing appeal letters to be filed with the National Security Service and the Ministry of Justice: “The person has gone missing. Regardless of who he is, [authorities] should make his location known. Besides, I fear that he might be extradited to Bahrain; meanwhile, the young man is a civic activist, and [in Bahrain] he could be subjected to persecution. Armenian authorities must show political will, they should make a political decision and not extradite Radhi," Danielyan said.

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office (HCAV) has also issued a statement regarding the incident: “As a member of the Council of Europe, the Republic of Armenia should not extradite Fadhil Radhi to the Kingdom of Bahrain where he might be subjected to torture, and the direct responsibility for that would lie with Armenia. If extradited, Radhi's life could also be put in jeopardy, since the death penalty has not been abolished in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”