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Both men are members of the Al Wefaq political party, the main opposition party in the Bahraini Parliament. They resigned from their seats as members of Parliament in February 2011 in protest of the government crackdown on protestors, which has led to a number of deaths and other human rights violations. In addition, Mr Mattar, had spoken to Al Jazeera English the day before his disappearance – see here for the full interview.
The media as well as supporters of Mr Mattar report that he was the subject of a ruse to go to a location where a group of masked men in civilian clothing were waiting to arrest him. Despite attempting to escape them, Mr Mattar was arrested and taken away to an unknown location. Mr Fairuz was arrested in front of his home. Both men were arrested in the evening of Monday 2 May. Since their arrests, which took place without a warrant and without any reasons being given, there has not been any news as to the fate of the two men.
Alkarama is concerned that their arrests may be related to the critical stance both men had taken on Bahrain policy on dealing with protests as well as the general political situation in the Kingdom. We fear that they are at risk of mis-treatment during their secret detention, which the UN has declared is "is irreconcilably in violation of international human rights law" (See Special Procedures study on secret detention – symbol number A/HRC/13/42)