NGO says Serbia illegally repatriates Bahraini national

NEWS 24.01.2022 13:26
Screenshot/ YouTube/ Beogradski centar za ljudska prava BCHR

A Belgrade-based human rights watchdog NGO warned on Monday that the Serbian authorities have illegally repatriated a citizen of Bahrain.

The Belgrade Center for Human Rights said that the Bahraini national was sent back to his home country on Monday even though the European Court of Human Rights issued an injunction on Friday, January 21. It specified that the man had been in custody in Serbia since November 2021 and that he told the authorities that he wants asylum, claiming that he faces possible torture as well as political and religious persecution at home.

“Despite the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to issue a temporary measure postponing the extradition to February 25, 2022 and a final ruling in that court at the request of the Belgrade Center for Human Rights, Serbia has gone ahead with the extradition in violation of the ruling by the court in Strasbourg as well as a number of international and domestic regulations obliging it to show respect for human rights,” the statement said. It said that the man was arrested and tortured in Bahrain for opposition to the ruling family and that he was sentenced to life in prison in a trial in which three others were sentenced to death.

According to the Center, the European Court of Human Rights asked official Belgrade if the courts took into account the possibility of torture and other inhuman treatment of the man and whether he was allowed to apply for asylum by February 11. The Higher Court in Belgrade and the Appeals Court, as well as the Justice Minister, ruled that the requirements for the extradition had been met.

The Center recalled a similar case in 2019, when the Serbian authorities illegally repatriated Turkish Kurd Jevdet Ayaz.