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by Shane Stokes
November 30, 2017
Froome to ride Giro d’Italia, vying for first Giro/Tour double in 20 years; 2018 Giro d’Italia details: Israel start, eight summit finishes, and Froome; Judge rules LeMond and Andreu can testify against Armstrong; Further jail sentence for family member of Bahrain critic; British Cycling calls on Britain not to miss ‘a huge opportunity to change the future of our country’; 2017 Tour of Bright cancelled due to extreme weather forecast; Niner files for bankruptcy in lead up of planned sale; Video: Giro d’Italia 2018 – The Route; Video: The numbers of Giro d’Italia; Audio: The Cyclingtips Podcast: Cannabis, Jerusalem and Froome at the Giro
Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa has faced allegations of human rights violations relating to torture.
One month after the family members of a human rights activist campaigning against corruption in Bahrain were given prison sentences, one of those concerned has had his sentence increased. At the end of October Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) Head of Advocacy Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said that the jailing of his mother in law, his brother in law and his cousin were reprisals for his campaigning.
At the time BIRD accused the Bahraini authorities of using torture to coerce Ahmed Alwadaei’s family members into confessing. Amnesty International said the sentencing was a ‘reprisal’ for his activities, while Human Rights Watch was similarly unimpressed. It said the charges were ‘dubious’ and that they were ‘testimony to Bahrain’s comprehensive campaign to muzzle dissent.’ It added that it will appeal the sentences.
In addition to his general highlighting of abuses in Bahrain, Alwadaei has been vocal in speaking out against its backing of a WorldTour cycling team. Prior to the squad getting its WorldTour licence, he called on the UCI to turn down its application. The project is headed by the controversial Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa [pictured], who has faced allegations of human rights violations relating to torture.
On Wednesday Alwadaei’s brother in law Sayed Nizar Alwadaei was sentenced to an additional three years in jail, thus doubling his original sentence to six years. He was charged with planning a fake bomb in January 2017.
“Today’s sentence is a textbook example of how Bahraini corrupt courts depend on confessions coerced under torture to convict victims of abuse,” said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei. “What saddens me the most is that Nizar was interrogated mostly about my activities in the United Kingdom. This reprisal happened because Bahrain’s rulers are committing horrific abuses without fear of consequences or accountability.”