Hasan Abdulameer AlMeshaimea is a 20-year-old former student who has been arrested multiple times since 2012, often for various illegal assembly charges relating to pro-democracy demonstrations. He was subjected to torture, sentenced in an unfair trial, and is currently being denied medical care in prison.
Hasan was most recently arrested last year, on 22 November 2018, by officers in plain clothing and officers from the Ministry of Interior (MoI). None of these officers presented a warrant or stated any reason for his arrest. Once he was arrested, Hasan was taken to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), and initially charged with illegal assembly. After two weeks, he was transferred to Dry Dock Detention Center and held there for six months. He was then transferred back to the CID. Hasan was also later accused of attacking a riot police center, and he was not permitted a lawyer to be present during his interrogations.
At the CID, Hasan experienced various forms of torture including beating and forced standing. It is believed that he was tortured in an attempt to coerce a confession.
On 30 April 2019, Hasan was sentenced to one year in prison on illegal assembly charges, one and a half years on the charge of attacking the riot police center, and three years on the charge of financing terrorism. Hasan was only permitted to meet his lawyers in the courtroom. On 28 October 2019, Hasan’s judgment was upheld on appeal. He is currently being held at the New Dry Dock, the section of Jau Prison reserved for prisoners under 21 years of age.
While he has been imprisoned Hasan has regularly been denied medical care. Hasan suffers from vision problems, dental problems, and has shotgun pellets in his hands and legs that he acquired when police used shotguns to disperse protestors in 2011 and 2012. He has asked for a doctor multiple times, and on 28 October 2019 he was transferred to the Salmaniya Medical Complex, however he did not undergo the necessary surgery to remove the pellets. He has filed multiple complaints regarding the provision of medical care to the MoI Ombudsman and National Institution for Human Rights, but has received no response.
Hasan’s allegations of torture, denial of medical care, and denial of proper judicial proceedings are all in violation of Bahrain’s international human rights obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CAT), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Specifically, his arbitrary arrest, detention, and inability to present a defense violate Article 9 and 14 of the ICCPR. His reports of beatings and force standing violate the CAT, and the denial of medical care violates Article 12 of the ICESCR, which guarantees the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by annulling Hasan’s conviction, and if serious criminal charges can be maintained against him, conducting a fair trial in conformity with universally agreed judicial standards. In light of Hasan’s treatment during his detention, ADHRB also urges the authorities to investigate claims of torture and ill treatment, and to ensure that appropriate medical care is provided for all prisoners.
Editor’s note: This piece was edited 9 December 2019 to correct minor factual inaccuracies.