2 April 2019 – The Bahraini Embassy in London replied to the media publicity on the case of female political Najah Yusuf, by issuing a statement on Twitter including fabricated evidence against her.
The statement claims that “the conviction of Najah has no connection whatsoever to the Formula One race, nor to any other freedom of expression issues”. It further elaborates that Najah was convicted for creating and managing accounts across social media platforms posting violent content promoting and inciting “acts of terrorism”.
— Bahrain Embassy UK (@BahrainEmbUK) March 28, 2019
Such a statement contradicts the Public Prosecution’s evidence against Najah, which lists a number of Facebook posts criticising the Government’s use of F1 to “whitewash” its dire human rights record and call for peaceful protests against the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix, published between 12 and 17 April.
Along with the statement, the Embassy published a series of violent posts from a Twitter page Najah was accused to co-manage. Despite these posts were published in February 2019, the Embassy attributed them to Najah, who has been in prison since April 2017, with no access to any social media accounts or smartphones. Najah was convicted on 25 June 2018.
The Embassy failed to make any references to the Public Prosecution evidence or the court ruling explicitly mentioning social media criticism of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix as one of the bases for Najah’s conviction.
Commenting, the Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, said: “The Bahraini Government is now forging evidence against Najah in a desperate attempt to save face in response to an international outcry. By using Twitter evidence, which was posted eight months after Najah’s conviction, and attributing it to her, they have failed to prove anything other than their own guilt. Instead of covering up Najah’s abuse, the Bahraini Government must release her immediately and hold those responsible for her sexual assault and torture to account.”