URGENT ACTION needed in solidarity with Isa Al-Aali – Call out to Gulf Air and MPs
Isa Haider Al-Aali is a 19 year old pro-democracy activist from Bahrain. In February 2014 he sought asylum in the UK after repeated arrests for peaceful protest during which he was subject to extreme physical and psychological violence, including death threats. He was detained upon entry in the UK and fast-tracked, meaning that he did not have time to adequately prepare his case and was denied refugee status. The Home Office has now issued a removal order for Isa for this Thursday, May 22nd.
This means that he will be forcibly brought back to Bahrain, despite his certain detainment by Bahrain authorities — Isa was sentenced in absentia to a 5 years imprisonment by a Bahraini court — and his fears of facing further totrure. Based on recent evaluations by global and local NGOs, Isa has not and will not receive a fair trial in Bahrain and will almost certainly be exposed to physical and psychological harm by Bahraini authorities.
Please join us to demand that Isa not be removed from the UK. Details of his case, the context of political repression, judiciary violence and use of torture, as well as how you can help will be posted on this facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/saveisa/
For full background information see
Please contact Gulf Air and ask that they refuse to forcibly remove Isa Al-Aali on flight GF002 from Heathrow Airport on Thursday, May 22nd.
Please be polite and compassionate in your message and remember not to accuse them of deporting Isa, but ask them to refuse to carry out the unjust decision of the Home Office, which is well within the legal rights of the pilot.
A talking points and sample letter is below though personal messages are encouraged.
Gulf Air Contact Details:
Twitter: @GulfAir #SaveIsa
Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Phone (UK office) 0844 493 1717
0844 493 1715
Points you might want to include:
Isa is a young man who has already experienced physical and psychological torture at the hands of the Bahrain judiciary.
Many agencies have provided evidence that Isa has a credible risk of torture if returned.
Isa did not have proper legal representation during his asylum hearing.
Isa fears for his life if returned.
It can be dangerous to transport passengers against their will, or to have passenergers forcibly restrained when flying.
Many airlines and pilots have refused to carry out removals when they believe the removal to be immoral or unjust, or when they believe their passenger to be in distress.
There has been a lot of media attention around this case, Gulf Air will receive some of that exposure as well.
See Sample letter to airline attached below and for details of contacting your MP and the UK Home Office see http://www.slaneystreet.com/2014/05/20/stop-the-removal-of-isa-al-aali/
Sample letter [Copy and paste this into your own message]
To whom it may concern
Re: the forced removal of Isa Haider Al-Aali on Flight GF002 Thursday, May 22nd, at 10am
I am writing to you with grave concern about the plans to transport Isa Haider Al-Aali on a Gulf Air flight against his will. In the past, airlines such as Air France, as well as individual pilots, have refused to transport passengers on hearing evidence of unjust or inhumane removals, which is well within your legal rights . We ask you to consider the circumstances of Isa Al-Aali and, in the interest of both his safety and the comfort of the passengers and crew of flight GF002 to deny the UK removals officers permission to board with Mr. Al-Aali against his will.
Isa is a young man of 19 years who has experienced severe psychological and physical violence, including death threats, whilst under arrest for peaceful pro-democracy protests in Bahrain. He came to the UK seeking asylum, but due to lack of proper legal representation was unable to present relevant documents in time for his hearing and his request for asylum was denied. After over three months in immigration detention, he now faces removal back to Bahrain, where he has been tried in abstentia and faces 5 years in jail where he very much fears for his safety and even his life.
Since his claim was rejected, evidence has come forward from Amnesty International, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Bahrain Human Rights Society, all substantiating that he has a credible risk of torture if returned to Bahrain.
There has been growing awareness of late about the judiciary use of torture in Bahrain, not least of which are the recent accusations of use of torture by Prince Nasser, himself, as reported in the Financial Times on May 12th. Isa’s case has also received social media attention and articles in the Independent and Huffington Post. In Bahrain, word of his deportation made the Gulf News and Akhbar-alkhaleej, where the government announced they are awaiting Isa’s return, denying his right to peaceful protest with veiled threats that he be deterred. That the government is anxiously awaiting his return is of grave concern; increased media attention will only serve to put him at greater risk of retribution from the Bahrain state.
We appeal to your sense of corporate morality to refuse to participate in the removal of this young man.
We further ask you to consider the impact that transporting someone against their will, whilst forcibly restrained, would have on the crew and passengers of flight GF002. Allowing him to transported on your flight will cause him severe distress. Moreover, it is a sad but true fact that forcibly removing people from the UK has lead to fatalities in the past. Surely, transporting someone against their will and in fear of their life is not in the interest of anyone on your flight.
We commend the managers, pilots and other crew of various airlines who have stopped a number of forced removals of refugees on their flights, exercising their legal rights and showing compassion and regard for their passengers’ safety. We hope we can count on you to do the same.
More information about Mr. Al-Aali’s situation can be found in this document put out by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. We trust you to do the right thing.