Profiles in Persecution: Husain Radhi AbdulNabi

Husain Radhi AbdulNabi is a 13-year-old Bahraini boy being arbitrarily detained in the Bahrain’s Juvenile Care Center in Isa Town.

On 14 February 2019, armed officers in civilian clothing arrested Husain on the street in the village of al-Musalla, during an ongoing protest nearby. Officers beat him and yelled at him, and arrested him without a warrant or a reason for the arrest. Officers arrested Husain along with his friend, who is 14 years old, after they denied knowledge of the whereabouts of people that were being pursued by the officers.

Husain was taken to the al-Khamis police station where he was detained for six hours, after which he was released, conditioned on his return to the police station two days later, when he would be presented to the Office of Public Prosecution (OPP). He returned on the morning of 16 February and was presented before the OPP the same day, where he was ordered detained for five days pending investigation. He was transferred to the Juvenile Care Center in Isa Town.

Husain did not have a lawyer present during his detention at the police station, however, a lawyer was sent to represent the other child, and now represents both children. Officers stated that they would release Husain if he confessed to participating in an illegal assembly before the OPP. Husain told the officers that he had been playing in the street when he was arrested. His statement before the OPP does not contain any incriminating information.

On 17 February, Husain’s family was permitted to visit him in the juvenile center for 15 minutes, after applying for a special request.

Husain was charged with illegal assembly.

On 20 February 2019, the Office of Public Prosecution extended his detention period for another week, which they extended again on 27 February for four days. On 3 March the two boys were released pending trial, which will commence on 17 March.

Bahrain has violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the child (CRC), both of which it has acceded to. In addition, it has violated the general principles of law in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  Officers arrested Husain without a charge or a warrant, did not provide a lawyer or parental supervision during his interrogation at the police station, did not promptly bring him before a judge, and his detention was not used as a last resort but was the first measure taken. In addition, the charge of illegal assembly violates his rights to the freedom of expression and assembly. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls upon Bahrain to end Husain’s detention and ensure that any subsequent trial is consistent with due process and fair trial rights.