Profiles in Persecution: Haidar Ebrahim Hasen

Haidar Ebrahim Hasen is an 18-year-old Bahraini citizen who was a minor completing his secondary education at the time of his arrest. Bahraini authorities forcibly disappeared him and tortured him into a forced confession. Haidar was sentenced to 23 years in prison and denaturalized. He currently remains in New Dry Dock, the section of Jau Prison reserved for individuals under the age of 21.

On 29 November 2015, officers in plain clothing arrested Haidar without a warrant on the street in the village of Sanabis. He was 15 years old at the time. Haidar was then taken to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and forcibly disappeared for a period of three months, during which officers interrogated and tortured him. They subjected Haidar to various methods of torture in order to extract a confession, including physical beatings and electric shock.

On 1 February 2018, Haidar was sentenced to 23 years in prison, denaturalized, fined up to 2784 Bahraini Dinar (BD), and confiscated of belongings on charges of illegal assembly, assaulting an intelligence officer, and playing a part in a bombing that took place in Karranah. Haidar was not able to consult with his attorney during interrogations, was not brought before a judge within 48 hours of his arrest, and was not provided with adequate time to prepare for trial.

Haidr suffers from a number of health problems resulting from the torture he experienced, including diminished vision in one eye, total loss of hearing in one ear, and respiratory problems due to his broken nose.

Authorities have intermittently held Haidar in solitary confinement throughout his detention and incarceration. In March 2018, he was held in solitary confinement for more than two months as punishment for his refusal to sign a document without knowing its contents. When he asked how long he would be held in isolation, the guards refused to answer. He says the extended solitary confinement caused psychological damage. Haider has gone on hunger strike to protest the punitive use of extended solitary confinement and other abuses in the prison system.

Bahrain’s actions against Haidar violate its obligations under international law. The torture he was subjected to during interrogation violates Article 2 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and Articles 7 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Further, the use of statements obtained through torture in criminal proceedings against Haidar is similarly in violation of Article 15 of the CAT. By denying Haidar 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 Haidar’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.