11 NGOs Send Letter to Royal Jet President: Your Company is Involved in Extraditing Ahmed Jaafar, Violating Human Rights
2022-02-01 - 6:12 p
Bahrain Mirror: 11 human rights organizations sent a letter to the Royal Jet president regarding his company's involvement in the illegal extradition of Bahraini dissident Ahmed Jaafar Muhammed from Serbia to Bahrain.
The letter sent to the Royal Jet president, Rob Dicastri, read "We, the undersigned human rights organizations, are writing to express our utmost concern regarding your company's recent involvement in the wrongful extradition of Bahraini dissident Ahmed Jaafar Mohamed Ali from Serbia to Bahrain."
"On Monday January 24, 2022, Royal Jet airplane A6-RJC was used to fly Mr. Ali out of Belgrade, Serbia, to Manama, Bahrain (flight number ROJ023), where he was handed over to the Bahraini authorities," it added.
"The extradition was carried out in violation of an injunction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), issued three days prior, on January 21, 2022. The latter called for halting Mr. Ali's extradition until after February 25, by which the Serbian authorities were asked to provide the ECHR with further information on Mr. Ali's case, including the foreseable conditions of detention in Bahrain and the risk of torture that Mr. Ali might face if extradited. As maintained by the ECHR, failure to comply with the court's interim measures may amount to a violation of European Convention on Human Rights' article 3, which prohibits torture and degrading treatment or punishment."
The organizations confirmed that "Mr. Ali is a Bahraini dissident who made clear his intention to apply for asylum in Serbia on multiple occasions since his arrest in November 2021, due to the risk of torture and death he would face if returned to his home country. Indeed, Mr Ali was subjected to severe acts of torture by Bahraini Special Security Forces in 2007. He was sentenced, in absentia, to two life sentences in 2013 and 2015. In the 2015 case, following a grossly unfair trial, three of his co-defendants were tortured and then executed, in 2017, by the Bahraini authorities, despite an urgent appeal sent to the government of Bahrain urging it to spare their lives."
"We fear that by using your company's aircrafts to carry out Mr Ali's wrongful extradition, you may have played an active role in violating the ECHR's interim measures and article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture, which enshrines the principle of non-refoulement. You have also violated the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, under which business enterprises' responsibility to respect human rights requires that they seek "to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to those impacts," they further stated.
The organizations requested that the company's president clarify the steps taken by Royal Jet in order to prevent or mitigate your involvement in human rights violations, in particular: whether your company was aware of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights calling on Serbia to halt the extradition of Mr. Ali to Bahrain; whether procedures were undertaken by your company considering your aircraft members could not have possibly been unaware that Mr. Ali was traveling against his will; what your company's current policy is regarding its potential involvement in processes of wrongful extraditions and what steps you intend to take to ensure your aircrafts are not being used to carry out refoulement in the future.
They also demanded him to provide information about the treatment of Ahmed Jaafar Mohamed Ali during the flight, stressing that they look forward to response.
The signatories are: ALQST for Human Rights, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), Association for Victims of Torture-UAE, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR), CODEPINK, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Detained International, European Center for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR), Freedom Forward and MENA Rights Group.