6.28.2011

another stranded canadian needs our help: naser bader al-raas

Naser Bader Al-Raas, a 28-year-old Canadian, is in prison in Bahrain. He has been tortured. His passport has been confiscated, so he cannot leave that country. He has a heart condition, and may be in desperate need of medical attention.

He needs our help.

Al Raas's plight began in March, when he went to visit his sisters, who live in Bahrain. He went to the airport for his return flight - then vanished. When his family in Ottawa next heard from him, he had been released from prison, where he had been tortured.
But his identification, cellphones and Canadian passport have all been confiscated.

“Police told him not to contact the Canadian embassy and not to say he was arrested,” said Sadeq Al Raas.

But six weeks later, three charges, including kidnapping, were laid against him and a group of about 10 others.

The family has requested help from several human rights organizations.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is aware of a Canadian citizen who was detained and is currently prevented from leaving Bahrain,” wrote spokeswoman Priya Sinha.

“Consular officials in Ottawa and at the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance.”

The Canadian embassy in Riyadh has assisted, Al Raas said, but now tell him they can’t do anything because Al Raas is being charged in a military court.
Al Raas' family has turned to the government for help, but so far, have been met with silence.

Here's how you can help.

1. Sign this petition in support of Al Raas.

2. Like the Free Naser! Facebook page and share it with your network.

3. Write to your MP about Al-Raas. Here's a sample letter:
Dear Member of Parliament,

As your constituent, I am writing to bring your attention to a matter of great urgency. Naser Bader Al-Raas is a Canadian man who has been arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Bahrain. The secret police have confiscated his passport, which means he is unable to return to Canada. Naser is currently awaiting trial in Bahrain.

It is critical that he return home as soon as possible. Naser suffers from serious heart and lung problems. He has had two open-heart surgeries and requires special medication for his condition. He needs to return to Canada for medical treatment.

In March of this year, Naser traveled to Bahrain to visit family. He was kidnapped and imprisoned by secret police. He was physically and psychologically tortured. During this time, Naser was repeatedly forced to sign papers while blindfolded.

After one month of torture, Naser was charged with various crimes, including the abduction of a policeman. He “confessed” to these crimes while being tortured. He is currently awaiting trial.

Naser’s family in Canada has requested help from the Government, but they have not yet received a response. It is imperative that the Government intercede on Naser’s behalf as soon as possible. I hope that you will help in any way you can, especially by applying pressure in Parliament for an intercession on Naser’s behalf.

[You can send links to two news articles if you like: here and here.

Please let me know if I can count on your support. I look forward to hearing your position on this matter.

Sincerely,
I hope you'll take a few minutes to help.

1 comment:

Linda G. Richard said...

Posted to freedetainees.org :-)