Profiles in Persecution : Ahmed Hasan AlMadhoon

Ahmed Hasan AlMadhoon was a 19 year old bus driver when he was violently arrested, for unknown reasons, on 14 March 2015. Since then, he has been subjected to torture, enforced disappearance and convicted in an unfair trial. Currently, Ahmed is serving a sentence in Jau Prison.

On 14 March 2015 while Ahmed was at a friend’s house, 25 security cars and forces invaded and surrounded the house with no warning. Ahmed’s house had previously been raided on multiple occasions without prior notice. The last raid was four days before his arrest on 10 March 2015 under the supervision of Lieutenant Mohamed Teki Al-Majed, who arrived with two civilian cars backed up by internal intelligence and riot police.

The friend’s house was raided at night by the security forces from the Criminal Investigations Directorate, including riot police; after they had received information from an unknown person that Ahmed was at his friend’s. They broke into the room where Ahmed was located and proceeded to point their weapons at him. He was then immediately handcuffed, blindfolded and driven away in a personal car which belonged to the aforementioned Lieutenant. The officers did not provide any warrant.

Due to his arrest, Ahmed started to have trouble breathing in addition to suffering from convulsions. The authorities were alarmed and the Lieutenant contacted members of Ahmed’s family, asking them to bring his medication to the CID.

After his arrest Ahmed was forcibly disappeared for eight days and there were no official reports on his whereabouts. His specific location was never confirmed to his family members though they dropped his medication to the CID. Ahmed’s medical situation gained publicity with social media and, because of media pressure, Ahmed was given the chance to call members of his family for one minute. At the end of the interrogation, which lasted nine days, he was transferred to the Dry Dock Detention Center.

Ahmed was convicted on four charges: 1) charges of the First Case: rioting and illegal assembly, 2) charges of the Second Case: the manufacturing of a fake bomb, 3) charges of the Third Case: rioting, illegal assembly and intentional arson, 4) charges of the Fourth Case: rioting, and illegal assembly.  Throughout the four trials between 5 May 2016 and 11 April 2018, Ahmed was sentenced to a combined 10 years and 6 months in prison. Two appeals have gone up for the second and the third case. His sentence has been reduced for the second case to three years in prison and the judgment of the third case has been upheld.

On 8 April 2019, a request was rejected from the Court of Cassation concerning the second case. Ahmed was not able to see his attorney and did not have adequate time and facilities to prepare for his trial. He was allowed to present evidence but the Lieutenant did not consider them. Ahmed’s family was not permitted to pursue his case at the CID, and they were only able to contact him four weeks after his arrest. Ahmed’s lawyer was further prohibited from enquiring about his health condition and attending his interrogation.

Ahmed’s health condition severely deteriorated as a direct result to the torture he has been subjected to since his arrival to the CID on 14 March 2015. Ahmed was hit on his face and body and was made to endure hazing and insults. He was threatened with electric shocks and assaults and was a victim of inappropriate and indecent language in addition to ill-treatment. He did not have access to his previous prescribed medication despite his critical health and was never taken to a doctor .His parents reported that his freedom of belief and religion were violated and that the torture and ill-treatment was imposed due to the Shiite sect to which he belongs.

Ahmed confessed under torture and suffered from bruises and blood clots. Additionally, because of the torture he suffered from multiple epileptic attacks. A medical report on 12 May 2015 reported that Ahmed was suffering from epilepsy; his medical condition was being followed-up at a clinic outside of the prison. Another neurologist confirmed his disease in a report dated 21 June 2019. Ahmed was still suffering from epilepsy and was receiving anticonvulsants but he was prohibited to take the medication prescribed by the doctor. Because of this irregularity in the dose intake Ahmed’s convulsions increased to four per day. He is still suffering from blurred vision, muscular tension, fatigue and pain throughout his entire body.

On 23 February 2020, Ahmed experienced his sixth epileptic seizure. His cellmates asked police officers to immediately take him to the hospital, but the police officer did not respond to their request. It was Ahmed’s cellmate that helped him until his epileptic episode subsided and his condition was relatively stable. Ahmed’s family is extremely concerned about his health condition, especially since the prison administration leaves Ahmed without medical assistance and does not transfer him to the clinic when he suffers from life-threatening epilepsy seizures.

The treatment of Ahmed violates Bahrain’s international human rights obligations, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Ahmed’s warrantless arrest and arbitrary detention are in violation of Articles 9, 10 and 14 of the ICCPR.  Ahmed’s case is also in violation of Article 12 of the ICESCR, which provides that everyone has the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls on the Government of Bahrain to release Ahmed. If serious criminal convictions can be maintained against Ahmed, we call for any retrial to be conducted in accordance with international standards for a fair trial. Additionally, we call for an investigation into Ahmed’s allegations of torture, with a view to holding the perpetrators accountable. Finally, we call on the Government to provide appropriate medical care and medicine to Ahmed and all individuals in prison and detention centers.