Bahrain releases activist Hajer Mansoor from prison after three years


Bahrain on Thursday released Hajer Mansoor after serving a three-year prison sentence. Amnesty International said that the release of Mansoor was long overdue as she was accused with absurd terrorism charges.

“Hajer was imprisoned for three years on absurd ‘terrorism’ charges, solely because of her family relationship with Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, a human rights activist who now lives in the United Kingdom,” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director said.

“As such, her sham trial was nothing more than act of reprisal intended to intimidate and ultimately silence a critic of the Bahraini government who had escaped beyond their reach,” Maalouf continued.

Hajer Mansoor is the mother-in-law of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, an outspoken critic of the Bahraini government who lives in exile in the UK.

She was jailed on March 05, 2017, along with two other relatives of Alwadaei, after being convicted of absurd charges of planting fake bombs in an area southwest of Manama, the capital of Bahrain, after a grossly unfair trial. Also jailed were Alwadaei’s brother-in-law, Sayed Nizar Alwadaei, and a cousin, Mahmood Marzooq Mansoor. They remain in prison in Bahrain.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei is Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy. Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Bahraini authorities to stop the harassment and targeting of his family.

“The Bahraini authorities have an appalling track record when it comes to harassing, threatening and arbitrarily detaining family members of Bahraini activists living abroad as a means of intimidating them into silence,” Maalouf said.

“All other prisoners of conscience who have been detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights, or for their association with those who have been critical of the government, must now be released immediately and unconditionally,” Maalouf ended. (Source: Amnesty Intl.)