This book is a powerful true story of an expatriate (the author) who gets entangled in the legal and penal systems of a third world country. At the time, he is naïve enough to believe that the facts of the case mattered more than the agendas of a corrupt regime and the international diplomats who did not want to make waves over the fate of a single, non-connected individual.
He and his father quickly lose their illusions about facts, justice, human rights, and diplomatic intervention in Bahrain; from there, this sad drama progresses from frustration to desperation, and finally to a life-or-death race for the authors freedom.
Mr. Mechan writes in a conversational, first-person style, allowing his emotions to come through and making for a very easy read. He discusses the events from his point of view (mainly from the courtroom or the bowels of Jau prison). He not only describes the inhuman conditions under which he is held, he also describes the constant physical danger to which he is exposed all very reminiscent of "Midnight Express." He further relates how the various aspects of his life disintegrate around him. This is every expatriates nightmare to be locked away in a horrible foreign prison, with very little chance of getting an appeal, let alone getting out and meanwhile life on the outside is just going on
Then, at key junctures, turns the tale over to his father Terry, who discusses the same events from his viewpoint as Richards main advocate. The elder Mechan obviously has a broader view, much greater freedom to act, and must carry the incredible burden of the fight for Richards freedom. He goes into detail about the corruption and lack of concern for the law and human rights of the Bahraini regime. He describes the incompetence of the local attorneys, and of the British diplomats preference to maintain good relations with the Bahrainis rather than confront them and demand justice for a citizen of the UK. He produces evidence of unethical and illegal US intervention in the case.
This books subject matter is sad, and scary, and thought-provoking. Its a definite "must-read" for expatriates and world travellers, and will be an eye-opener for most people in the Free World who think the justice alone is enough to prevail
To the good people all over the world who helped me in my hour of need But with special thanks to Alison Haig, Gary Fisher, Howard Copland, Warren Hoffecker, Professor Jack Crane, John Owen Hughes, Tony Wilson, Brian Davis, Kathy Vales, Parosha Chandran, Paul Scott, Liza Gibb, Aileen McNeill, Christopher Baumeister, Dr Robert Wilson, Judith Denwood, Robert Irving, Nabeel Rajab, Mansoor Al-Jamri, Peter Ford, Lord Avebury, Jalila Al-Said, Dr Sabika Al-Najjar, Dr Mundir, Margaret Mattock, Malcolm Stacker Staples, Mike Mehary, Ian Rowbottom, Tess Kingham, Parmjit Dhanda, Margaret Roman, Ismail Ginwalla, John Evans, Brad Field, Barrie Field, Kevin and Emma OConnor, Carl Matthews, Mark Summerfield, Jim Maguire, Blair Field, Mark Maguire, Matt Curtis, Richard Tucker, Roger Mechan, Aron Matthews, Dean Matthews, Jerry Merritt, William Higgins, Les Dancey, Dave Lockwood, Mark and Tracy Bower, David Heron, Richard Allenby, Jane Martin, Bob Sheck, Iain Belton, Brian Hopkins, Mark Nino Davis, Nigel Cox, Ron Acton, Alex and Wendy, Mick Flannery, Richard Redgrave, Paul Green, ! Robert Reid, Fang Shum, Abdul Latif, David Muir, Keith Whitmore, Nigel Cox, Mark Haydon, Sue and Ron Smith, Naomi and Matt Knight, Alasdair Macleod, David Stanton, Ian Lloyd, Richard Gilbert, Steven Dexter, Val Jones, David Hibbins, Ian Doyle, Steve Walden, Jeff Birtwistle, Jeff Hunt, Mike Filby, Mike Coates, Derek Vandivere, Geoff Cooper, Graham Thain, Peter and Barbara Gillespie, Peter Ind, Christina Snell, Tony Frost, John Hale, Alan Norman, Anni Logan, Jane Lawrence, Peter Wade, Dave Wakefield, Mark Phillips, Mike Rust, Curt Rothrock, Larry McDowell, Alan Baldrick Holden, Dag Guest, Paddy Scott, Paul Woodford, Gil Jackson, Jennifer Collins, John Jackson, Marc Higgins, Gareth Lloyd, Barry Pope, Glenn Newlands, Les Winder, Martin Wolfe, Brian Tudor, Tracy and John Modica, NMOH3 and the Hash House Harriers world-wide. For support and checking of the manuscript, Anne Mitchell And for my Father Without whose tireless work and support, I would never have
survived and would, without a doubt, be rotting in a Bahrain Jail today