Profiles in Persecution: Ahmed AbdulHasan Husain

Ahmed AbdulHasan Husain is a 36-year-old financial inspector and father who has been arbitrarily detained and tortured by Bahraini authorities. After an unfair trial he was sentenced to prison in Bahrain’s notorious Jau facility where he continues to be denied adequate healthcare for his injuries.

At 2:00am on 3 November 2015, officers in civilian clothing arrested Ahmed from his home. Prior to his arrest, the officers opened the gate to the yard of the house and climbed the fence to enter Ahmed’s home. They were in large numbers, wore yellow jackets and masks, and were accompanied by female police officers. The forces entered the home and arrested Ahmed without a warrant for either action.

On the following day, 4 November 2015, the officers brought Ahmed back to the house. The forces raided the home, demolished some walls, and removed the floors under the pretext of searching for weapons.  After leaving the home, Ahmed was able to call his family for only a few seconds; he was unsure of his location, but knew he was being investigated.

From 4 November 2015 until 4 December 2015, Ahmed was subjected to an enforced disappearance. During this time, unknown individuals tortured Ahmed. The purpose of the torture was to make Ahmed confess that he communicated with a group of wanted men outside of Bahrain, funded them, and received training from them. Ahmed believes he was subjected to the torture because he is a Shia Muslim, as security forces – who are almost exclusively Sunni – have insulted his and other detainees’ doctrine and beliefs. The torture lasted for 28 days in the interrogation building at Jau Prison, a part of the facility that is reported to be affiliated with the National Security Agency (NSA), Bahrain’s main intelligence agency. Authorities deprived him of sleep, shower, and prayer, and they made threats against his family. Ahmed stated that the torture was to the extent that: “I wish that I died.” As a result of the torture, he confessed. On 4 December 2015, he was presented to the Office of Public Prosecution (OPP) before being transferred to Dry Dock Detention Center.

The torture broke Ahmed’s hand and, due to lack of medical attention, it is now paralyzed. He also has problems with his urinary tract, and he is suffering psychologically from the abuse. Ahmed was admitted to Salmaniya hospital to receive treatment and then taken to the Ministry of Interior (MoI)’s Al-Qaala hospital, where he was allowed only three sessions of physical therapy. In May 2018, Ahmed was treated at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital. His doctor prescribed physical therapy, and recommended nerve transplant surgery. The surgery is scheduled to take place in July 2018.

In addition to the report by his doctor, other medical reports were submitted to the OPP, the MoI Ombudsman, the Special Investigation Unit, and given to Ahmed’s lawyer. There are additional medical reports that Ahmed has not been allowed access to, including the report of the forensic and psychological doctors, and the report of the criminal laboratory that analyzed the blood stains that were on Ahmed’s clothes from the torture in Jau Prison.

Ahmed was not allowed to meet with his lawyer during his detention. At his first hearing, no lawyer was present. Even after the start of the trials, authorities only permitted Ahmed to meet with his lawyer once. Additionally, the judge rejected all complaints of torture and did not take them into consideration. Ahmed was tried in absentia, despite being in custody, and convicted of joining a terrorist cell. He was sentenced on 15 May 2018 to five years in prison, and his citizenship was revoked in a mass trial of 138 individuals. His appeal has been postponed to 12 September 2018. He is currently being detained in Jau Prison.

Bahrain’s actions against Ahmed violate international law, including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 7, 9, and 14), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 12). Bahrain is a party to each of these treaties.

ADHRB calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by annulling Ahmed’s conviction and ensuring that any subsequent trial is consistent with due process and fair trial rights. We urge the authorities to investigate claims of torture and ill treatment by prison officials and to hold these officials accountable. We also call upon the authorities to provide sufficient medical treatment to Ahmed and all other detainees.