Profiles in Persecution: Redha Merza Mushaima

Redha Merza Mushaima is a 30-year-old Bahraini prisoner from Sanabis. He was arbitrarily arrested, prevented from communicating with his family, and tortured at both the Ministry of Interior (MoI)’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and the Riffa Police Station. He is currently in Jau Prison.

At approximately 2:00am on 4 March 2014, a group of Bahraini security forces, including some in civilian clothing, raided Redha’s home without a warrant and arrested him. The officers violently beat Redha with their fists. They also fired shotgun pellets that penetrated and caused injury to Redha’s neck and head.

Redha was brought to the CID and forced to remain handcuffed and blindfolded. Officers deprived Redha of food, did not allow him to use the restroom, and subjected him to constant physical, mental and verbal humiliation.

Officers beat Redha, kicking him in the face, ears and head. The beatings worsened a pre-existing hand injury, broke his teeth, and caused severe and persistent head and back pains. Officers smashed Redha’s head against a wall and inserted sharp objects into his ears, causing hearing loss in one ear. Officers also employed electric shocks in their torture.

During his torture and interrogation, Redha was denied access to a lawyer. The officers presented him a pre-written confession and tried to force him to sign it. The pre-written confession admitted to aiding and abetting terrorist acts that resulted in an explosion killing three policemen at Daih. Despite the torture, he did not sign the confession.

On 26 February 2015, Redha was sentenced to life in prison, fined thousands of Bahraini dinars, and stripped of his Bahraini nationality. During his imprisonment in Jau, Redha has sought access to medication for his many torture-induced injuries but the guards have continuously refused. Instead, prison guards have shouted at him violently and subjected him to hours in solitary confinement as punishment.

Bahrain has violated a number of its international and domestic obligations in its treatment of Redha, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Bahraini Constitution itself. The warrantless arrest and raid were in violation of the Bahraini Constitution, and his lack of access to legal counsel during his interrogation and trial are in violation of Article 14 of the ICCPR. This renders his detention arbitrary in violation of Article 9 of the ICCPR. Furthermore, the torture and ill treatment were in violation of Articles 7 and 10 of the ICCPR and Articles 2 and 16 of the CAT. Finally, the Bahraini authorities’ denial of his right to healthcare and medication is in violation of his right to health under Article 12 of the ICCPR.

ADHRB calls on Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by annulling Redha’s conviction and ensuring that any subsequent trial would be consistent with due process and fair trial rights, including access to a qualified attorney. Additionally, we call on authorities to investigate claims of torture and ill treatment, and to hold officials accountable for unlawful actions.