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ECCHR Demands Switzerland to Prosecute Bahraini Attorney-General “Al-Buainain” While Present on Swiss territory

2015-09-23 - 12:57 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) published an article by its founder Wolfgang Kaleck entitled "Bahrain: Prosecuting the prosecutor" in which he highlighted a criminal complaint filed against the Bahraini Attorney General, Ali bin Fadhul Al-Buainain, in Switzerland for taking part in torture.

"The Swiss prosecutors had time to take the necessary action. By allowing Ali bin Fadhul Al-Buainain to leave the country they missed a crucial opportunity to implement the calls by Switzerland and 31 other states: to bring to justice those who torture or oversee torture in Bahrain," Kaleck said.

He pointed out that Switzerland has signed the UN anti-torture convention; "this means it is obliged under the principle of universal jurisdiction to take criminal proceedings in cases of torture whenever a suspect is present on Swiss territory."

Kaleck added that Al-Buainain can be prosecuted based on a lawsuit filed by Bahraini-born British citizen Jaafar Al-Hasabi to the prosecution in Berne (Switzerland) against the Bahraini Attorney-General Ali Bin Fadhul Al-Buainain over taking part in torture. Al-Hasabi was held in incommunicado detention in Bahrain where he was subjected to various torture methods, including electric shocks. The complaint was filed coinciding with Al-Buainain's participation in the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) annual conference in Switzerland. Al-Hasabi's complaint is supported by the ECCHR, REDRESS and BIRD as well as TRIAL.

31 countries, along with Switzerland, issued a statement condemning human rights violations in the Gulf state. The representatives of these states would have needed only to get the train a few hours north to hand their statement "to one of those most responsible for these crimes, Mr Al-Buainain is Bahrain's Chief Prosecutor, who has not to date faced any backlash from his prosecutor colleagues."

"Yet the Swiss prosecutors have trouble dealing with suspects like Al-Buainain. This is particularly the case when it's an allied and economically powerful state like Bahrain," Kaleck further stated.

Kaleck also said that "Mr Ali Bin Fadhul Al-Buainain is what people might call an "honorable man". Last week he was meeting other honorable men and women in Berne and Zurich in Switzerland - places where honorable people often mingle. Zurich has been hosting the annual meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP), a group of high-ranking prosecutors from all over the world."

Kaleck stressed that "An Irish human rights group called on the IAP to expel Al-Buainain from its ranks. Yet nothing was done. On the contrary: last week Al-Buainain stood to be elected Vice President of the IAP's Executive Committee."

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