Wednesday 22 March 2023

Bahraini refugee, deported by the Netherlands, is jailed for life

The IND offices in The Hague. Photo:

An asylum seeker from Bahrain who was rejected by the Netherlands and deported back to the Gulf state has been sentenced to life in prison without being given a fair trial, refugee groups and Amnesty International have told the NRC.

The organisations base their claims on statements from the man’s family and his lawyer, the paper said.  Ali-Mohammed al-Showaikh, who is 27, has also had his Bahraini citizenship removed.

Al-Showaikh fled to the Netherlands in 2017 because his brother was a political activist and he was afraid of police reprisals. His claim for asylum was dismissed and he was deported last October.

According to Amnesty, he was arrested on his arrival and has been subsequently tortured. He was put on trial for helping refugees who are members of a terrorist group, local news website Marat Al-Bahrayn said.

Dutch refugee group Vluchtelingenwerk and Amnesty both accuse the Netherlands of human rights abuses in sending Al-Showaikh back to Bahrain, when officials are well aware how Bahrain deals with the families of political activists.

The harsh sentence issued against Shuwaikh highlights the seriousness of the risks to Bahraini activists pursued by authorities inside and outside Bahrain,’ the news website said.

The Dutch immigration service IND said it would not comment on individual cases.

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