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Investigation Into Ali Al-Showaikh’s Deportation Piles Pressure on Dutch Authorities

The Netherlands is coming under mounting pressure to broaden its investigation into last year’s deportation of Ali Al-Showaikh.

Al-Showaikh was denied asylum by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) in The Netherlands and deported back to his native Bahrain in October 2018.

He was arrested upon arrival at the Manama airport, tortured in custody, sentenced to life imprisonment and stripped of his Bahraini citizenship.

This week, the Dutch Inspectorate of Justice and Security which had been tasked with investigating the IND’s controversial decision released its findings.

The report delves into events that occurred in the days leading up to Al-Showaikh’s deportation. It confirms that he had a valid passport and insisted on being sent to Iran instead of Bahrain.

Dutch authorities refused the request claiming Al-Showaikh would not be granted a long-term residence permit by the Iranians.

But the investigation notes that such matters were not the responsibility of the Dutch authorities and that simple consent from the Iranians, permitting Al-Showaikh to enter the country, would have been enough to send him there.

The investigation also reveals how IND staff ignored documents submitted by Al-Showaikh which showed he faced persecution in Bahrain due to his political activism.

On Friday, the Dutch Council for Refugees said the report “clearly shows that the IND has failed to investigate the danger for which Ali fled his country.”

The NGO demanded that the investigation be expanded further “to prevent new unjustified rejections.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty International’s office in The Netherlands called on the Dutch government to “do everything it can” to help Al-Showaikh.

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