THE LEVANT – Fears over the safety of Mr. Khalil’s Halwachi, father of the Head of monitoring and documentation of EBOHR, after raiding his home at dawn and arresting him.
The European- Bahraini Organisation For Human Rights expresses its deep concern over the arrest of 57-year-old Mr. Khalil Halwachi by the Bahraini authorities, where details indicates that he was arrested in the first hours of the morning, today, September the 3rd, 2014 from his home in the village of Jabalat Habashi by a large number of masked security forces’ men together with civilian men believed to be with the Intelligence Services after surrounding his house with nine security vehicles and four civilian cars and a bus belonging to the Interior.
On Wednesday morning at 7am, family of Mr. Khalil Halwachi received a brief call from him, when he informed that he is being held at the notorious Criminal Investigations building, and asked his family to communicate with his lawyer and the Swedish ambassador and indicated that he was unaware yet if the charges against his. It is worth mentioning that the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish Foreign Ministry did pursue the case of his arrest in 2011.
Mr. Khalil Halwachi lived in Stockholm, Sweden for 14 years before returning to Bahrain in 2001. He is a victim of torture and a former detainee at the period of the so-called “National Safety”, when a serious events of human rights violations took place in Bahrain. He was then tortured in the Interior Ministry building called “The Castle” located in the capital Manama, and where he reported hearing the sounds of torture and the screams of victims in the corridors of the building. His family were not able to see him until the day he was presented to the military court, taking into consideration that he did not know what his charge was until that day, in a flagrant violation of all International covenants related to the rights of the accused. He was then released after found not guilty by a military court.
Mr. Halwachi is also a witness to the ill-treatment prisoners suffered from, including minors, from beatings and cursing when masked security men led by officer Bader Al Ghaith attack the wards where prisoners sleep at night.
The same practices and gross violations of human rights are still going on since 2011 until now, where they are raiding and sabotaging homes of innocent citizens at night, same as what happened to Mr. Khalil, where they sabotaged contents his house and scattered things everywhere including documents found in his car.
There are fears over the safety of Mr. Khalil Halwachi, especially after not allowing his daughter ” Head of monitoring and documentation in EBOHR” to see him when she went to the Criminal Investigations building today.
Article 9 in The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights refers to the following:
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
EBOHR demands the Bahraini authorities to immediately release Mr. Khalil Halwachi without any restriction or condition, and bear the Bahraini authorities the responsibility of his physical and psychological safety and asks for a quick international intervention in order to stop gross human rights violations in Bahrain.