Profiles in Persecution: Jaafar Maki Husain

Jaafar Maki Husain is a 42-year-old Bahraini citizen who worked at the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) before he was arbitrarily detained by security forces. Arrested without a warrant and tortured into providing a coerced confession, Jaafar was sentenced to life imprisonment and denaturalization in December 2017. On 8 June 2018, this decision was upheld on appeal. Jaafar is currently in Jau Prison, awaiting the approval of the Court of Cassation to hear the case.

On 14 October 2015, officers in plain clothing arrested Jaafar without a warrant at his home upon his return from work at 11:00pm. The officers took Jaafar to the Ministry of Interior’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), where he was able to contact his family and inform them of his location. The officers then held him incommunicado for a week, denying his family any contact with him. Jaafar remained at the CID for five weeks.

The officers interrogated Jaafar at the CID for two weeks following his arrest. During this time, they subjected him to various methods of torture and abuse in order to extract confessions. These included sleep deprivation, beatings, electric shock in sensitive areas, and forced standing for long hours. He was then transferred to Dry Dock Detention Center on 21 November 2015. As a result of the torture, Jaafar confessed to the charges against him.

On 27 December 2017, Jaafar was sentenced to life imprisonment and denaturalized on the charges of organizing terrorist groups, undergoing training in Iraq, and managing a weapons warehouse in Nuwaidrat. He was not able to access his attorney and was even denied contact with her at the later stages of his detention. On 8 June 2018, the court of appeal upheld the initial decision and Jaafar is currently awaiting an approval for his case to be heard by the Court of Cassation.

Within hours of the court’s ruling, Jaafar was transferred to Jau Prison where he currently remains. He and his fellow prisoners suffer from ill treatment at Jau, including searches in the middle of the night, water cuts, reduction of food portions, and overcrowded cells.

Bahrain’s actions against Jaafar violate its obligations under international law. The torture he was subjected to during the interrogations and the ill treatment in Jau Prison violate Article 2 of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and Articles 7 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). By denying Jaafar consultation with counsel and the right to prepare his defense prior to his trial, Bahrain also violated his right to a fair trial guaranteed by Article 14(3) of the ICCPR, and his detention is arbitrary in violation of Article 9 of the same. Bahrain is a party to both of these treaties.

ADHRB calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by annulling Jaafar’s conviction and ensuring that any subsequent trial is consistent with due process and fair trial rights. We further urge the authorities to investigate all allegations of torture and abuse, and to prosecute the perpetrators. We also urge authorities to ensure that detainees benefit from living conditions that fulfill their basic needs and respect their inherent rights as human beings.