Activists and human rights defenders criticize Western countries for ignoring human rights violations in Bahrain in light of the repression and tyranny of the Al-Khalifa regime.
Observers highlight that the human rights file has not turned into a central issue in the foreign policy of the free world but has remained marginal and receives limited attention in the best cases.
In addition, the principle of human rights protection is subject to state policies and is not absolute and appears to be seasonal and regional. In addition to that, it sometimes conflicts with economic and political interests, so interests are given priority over principles.
After the human rights system was promoted, it became the preoccupation of large segments of political activists working in the ranks of the opposition to their authoritarian governments.
But little by little, political action has often declined in favour of human rights work, emptied of its content, and has become a slogan that does not have many credentials in reality.
A quick look at the latest US State Department report on human rights in the world, which was issued this month, suffices to reveal the extent to which these rights are declining in most countries.
Some consider that the human rights outcomes have become an obstacle for political activists who see their cadres as exhausted in human rights work without tangible results. The rate of persecution is on the rise, with the decline of public freedoms and the tyranny of tyranny.
This shows the position of European countries that do not hesitate to transgress human rights when they conflict with their interests.
On January 24, the Republic of Serbia handed over a refugee from Bahrain (Ahmed Jaafar Muhammad) to his government, despite an order issued by the European Court of Human Rights explicitly prohibiting his extradition pending further information.
As soon as Ahmed Jaafar Muhammad arrived at the airport, he was arrested, interrogated and tortured before being sentenced to life imprisonment.
It was preceded by the Netherlands, which handed over another refugee to the Bahrain government after he had applied for asylum. The extradition of the young Ali Al-Shuwaikh came after a court in Bahrain issued a sentence on February 28, 2019, to life imprisonment, revocation of citizenship and a fine of 500 dinars for “covering up several wanted persons.”
Denouncing human rights institutions is not enough to prevent Western governments from fulfilling their human rights obligations. In addition, the European Union, which issues decisions related to human rights, does not intervene in cases of extradition of political refugees to the governments of their countries, despite the persecution and torture that awaits them.
Where is the line between moral responsibility and purely material interests? European Union countries do not respect their human rights obligations.
Sheikh Muhammad Habib al-Miqdad was arrested more than eleven years ago because of his role in the February 14 revolution, and he is still behind bars to this day. Despite holding Swedish citizenship, the government of that country did not take effective action to secure his release. For example, Sweden refused to intervene actively to rescue a dual-national refugee from Bahrain’s prisons.
The same applies to the well-known international human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is sentenced to life imprisonment and suffers these days from an eye disease that threatens to lose sight.
This activist has held Danish citizenship for more than thirty years, but Denmark has not taken adequate measures to release him.
These countries can move the European Union as an effective regional alliance to adopt policies that protect human rights outside the Union, or at least it can link its relations with other countries with their respect for human rights to ensure the release of victims of arbitrary detention, especially if they hold European nationalities.