Profiles in Persecution: Sadiq Jaafar AlAbd

Sadiq is the brother of Isa Jaafar AlAbd, the subject of a previous profile. Sadiq was a 24-year-old student before his arrest in 2018. He was arrested without a warrant, subjected to an enforced disappearance and torture, and convicted in an unfair trial. He remains in Jau Prison.

On 26 February 2018, riot police officers and officers from the Ministry of Interior, along with officers in plain clothing and masks, raided Sadiq’s home and arrested him. The officers did not provide a reason for his arrest, they stated that they had a warrant but failed to produce the warrant when the family asked to see it. During the raid and arrest, the officers beat and kicked Sadiq, focusing the blows on his head.

Officers then transferred Sadiq to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), beating him in the officers’ vehicle en route. They held him there incommunicado for three days, when he was able to call his family and simply inform them that he was under investigation. After these three days, the officers transferred him to an unknown location (which his family believes to be Building 15 of Jau Prison). In total, he was disappeared for 10 days.

During the 10 days he was disappeared, officers subjected Sadiq to torture in order to coerce a confession, including physical beatings, harassment, and religious denigration, with the officers “interrogating” him while he was blindfolded. Sadiq denied the allegations against him, but eventually signed a prepared confession, out of fear that he would be tortured again.

Approximately three weeks after his initial arrest, officers transferred Sadiq to Dry Dock Detention Center pending trial. On 23 April 2018, he was transferred to the Office of Public Prosecution and charged with harboring fugitives (a relative and another individual from the same village).

On 30 September 2018, he was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. During his pre-trial detention, Sadiq was unable to meet with his lawyer. Following his conviction, Sadiq was transferred to Jau Prison, where he remains. His conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal on 29 January 2019.

Bahrain’s treatment of Sadiq is in violation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). The torture and ill-treatment described by Sadiq is in violation of the absolute prohibition on torture, as codified in the CAT and Article 7 of the ICCPR. Further, the use of information obtained as a result of torture in the criminal proceedings against Sadiq is also in violation of Article 15 of the CAT. The use of his confession, combined with his warrantless arrest and deprivation of legal counsel is also in violation of Sadiq’s fair trial rights, as enshrined in the ICCPR.

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls on the Bahraini government to release Sadiq and annul his conviction. If serious criminal charges can be maintained against him, we call for his trial to be held in accordance with all fair trial rights and due process guarantees, in line with international standards and Bahrain’s obligations. We further call on Bahrain to investigate Sadiq’s allegations of torture and ill treatment with a view towards holding the perpetrator accountable, and to compensate Sadiq for the violation of his human rights.