Bahrain: ongoing secret detention of former MPs, Mattar Mattar and Jawad Fairuz

Alkarama is concerned at the arrest and apparent disappearance of two former Bahraini Members of Parliament in Bahrain, following unusual methods of arrest. Mr Jawad Fairuz, aged 48 and Mr Mattar Mattar, aged 35 were both arrested on 2 May 2011 and have not been heard of since.

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)

In light of these concerns, Alkarama has written to the His Majesty the King of Bahrain, as well as to the Kingdom's Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, and its Permanent Mission in Geneva to request further information on Mr Fairuz's and Mr Mattar's behalf.