Profiles in Persecution: Sayed Saeed Isa

Sayed Saeed Isa is the father of Sayed Hashem, who died on 31 December 2011 during clashes that erupted between protesters and Bahraini security forces during a peaceful protest in Sitra Town. Since then, Sayed has been targeted by security personnel because of his participation in demonstrations, and because he has publicly spoken about his son’s death.

Sayed Saeed was an employee at Batelco Company in Bahrain before his first arrest in 2013, when he was arrested and charged with illegal assembly, rioting, and possession of Molotov cocktails, of which he was acquitted. On 12 October 2018, he was arrested again by forces in plain clothing – later identified as officers from the AlBudaiya police station– in Karranah on the charge of illegal assembly. He was arrested with 10 other individuals before a march in protest of the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for 24 November 2018. However, Sayed maintains that he did not participate in the march, but that he was at that time in a public market located in Karranah.

After his arrest he was transferred to the AlBudaiya police station for about two hours and was interrogated without a lawyer present. He was transferred to the Roundabout 17 Station in Hamad Town and detained for two days. On 14 October 2018, Sayed Saeed was brought to the Office of Public Prosecution (OPP), where he was again interrogated without the presence of his lawyer. The investigation lasted only 10 minutes and the Prosecutor ordered him detained at Dry Dock Detention Center for 15 days pending investigation – in detention, officers further interrogated him in a threatening manner. His detention was extended for another 15 days until 15 November 2018, when he was released on bail.

In Dry Dock, Sayed requested several times for authorities to allow him to be examined by a doctor and for authorities to let him go to the clinic to take insulin shots for his diabetes. Ultimately the authorities accepted these requests, and he was escorted by an officer while shackled once daily to the clinic. However, while Sayed was given his insulin shots, the officer did not leave his side and he remained shackled during the process. Authorities at Dry Dock additionally failed to provide him necessary treatment for other ailments, including high blood pressure, gout, and a thyroid gland condition, as well as prevented him access to drugs lowering triglyceride fat levels. The authorities only sporadically provided his prescribed medication, claiming that either they did not have the prescribed medication at the dispensary or that they had run out.

On 15 November 2018, Sayed Saeed was taken to the High Civil Court without being previously informed that he had a court session. During the court session, Sayed Saeed denied the evidence presented against him, which was a photo allegedly showing him present in the march. The judge ordered his release on bail. He had a hearing in his case yesterday, 19 December 2018. At his next hearing, the date of which is unknown, his verdict is expected.

Bahrain’s unfair trials of Sayed Saeed violated his fundamental human rights and Bahrain’s international and domestic human rights obligations. In this case, as in others, the  Bahraini  government  did  not  fulfill  its  obligations  under  the  international  treaties  to  which  it  is  party, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). In addition, the Bahraini prison authorities failed to provide Sayed with necessary medical treatment, and failed to meet the standard conditions for detention in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules). In  light  of  this  record,  Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)  calls  for  Sayed Saeed’s  redress  for  past  suffering  and,  if  serious  criminal  charges  can  be  sustained  against  him,  for  a  fair  trial  conducted  under  universally  agreed  juridical  standards  and  open  to  international  monitoring  and  evaluation.