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ADHRB Condemns NSA Targeting of Son of Bahraini Dissident Sheikh Hassan Sultan

2017-06-28 - 7:47 am

Bahrain Mirror: Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) said that amid an ongoing campaign of reprisals against human rights defenders and political activists, Bahrain's National Security Agency (NSA) has recently summoned Mohammad Hasan Sultan, the son of a former parliamentarian for the arbitrarily dissolved Al-Wefaq opposition society.

In a statement on Monday (June 26, 2017), ADHRB condemned the role of the National Security Agency, calling on the Government of Bahrain to immediately end all forms of retaliation against activists and their families, including Mohammad Sultan.

It added "Mohamed Sultan is the 23-year-old son of Sheikh Hassan Sultan, a former member of Bahrain's Council of Representatives, the elected lower house of the National Assembly. On 22 June 2017, Bahraini authorities summoned Mohammad Sultan for interrogation at a government facility in Muharraq. Once he arrived, Mohammad was reportedly beaten by NSA officers. Sources tell ADHRB that the officers insulted Mohamed's father and threatened him with rape. Mohamed was ultimately released after several hours of interrogation, but when he attempted to travel the next day the authorities blocked his exit and told him to report back to the government facility. During this session, NSA officials reportedly tortured Mohamed and pressured him to become an informant in order to help them target his father and other political figures. The officials released Mohamed after fourteen hours, but summoned him for a third round of interrogation the following day, 24 June. Though he was ultimately released after this session as well, the authorities summoned Mohammad for fourth round of interrogation today, 26 June."

"Mohammad Sultan is not politically active, and it is believed that he is being targeted solely in connection to his father's role as a member of the opposition. The government has previously subjected Sheikh Hassan Sultan to judicial harassment in reprisal for his political work, including arbitrarily revoking his citizenship. Additionally, the current targeting of his son comes several days after Sheikh Hassan Sultan was defamed in Saudi and Bahraini media and accused of conspiring with the Qatari government against the Gulf states' unified policy in Bahrain," the statement added.

"The decisions to re-empower the NSA and expand the military courts have the explicit approval of the king, and they represent a full-throated endorsement of Bahrain's move toward a police state," said Husain Abdulla, ADHRB's Executive Director.

Abdulla went on to say that "Now, with the NSA apparently seizing this opportunity to launch a renewed campaign of reprisals and intimidation against activists and their families, it is inconceivable that there isn't coordination at the highest levels of government. Bahrain's allies must make it clear that such flagrant repression will only further destabilize the country."

Arabic Version



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