Profiles in Persecution: Fahdel Hasan Abdulnabi

On 23 June 2018, Fahdel’s human rights were violated when he was arrested without a warrant, tortured and subjected to an unfair trial. At the time of Fahdel’s arrest, his three brothers were already convicted and imprisoned, and authorities were constantly raiding his house. At present, Fahdel remains in Jau Prison, where he has been imprisoned for three years.

The Special Security Force Command (SSFC), as well as riot police, commandos and officers in civilian clothing arrested Fahdel without a warrant after they bumped into his car at a traffic light in the city of Sitra.

Though his house was raided on multiple occasions his parents did not know he was arrested until informed by a friend. Three hours after his arrest, Fahdel was allowed to call his parents but only for limited seconds. Fahdel was subjected to enforce disappearance for a period of 20 days, during which he was being transferred between Investigation Building 15 at Jau Prison and the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID). During interrogation, he was denied access to an attorney, and was permitted only seconds long phone calls every three days to inform family that he was fine before the line would get interrupted.

Since the day of his arrest, Fahdel has been subject to various methods of torture, including electric chocks and beatings, as well as being hung by his tied hands in a very cold room. The torture took place in Criminal Investigation Building 15 in Jau Prison and at the Criminal Investigations Directorate. As a result of the torture, Fahdel suffers from bruising on his pelvis, but he did not receive any medical treatment.

Fahdel was accused of hiding individuals wanted for joining a terrorist group and confessed to these charges under torture. He was sentenced to three years in prison on 11 December 2019. His charges were upheld on 24 February 2020 during his appeal hearing.

His family was able to contact him one month after his arrest when he was transferred to the Detention Center. Fahdel was discriminated against based on the religion he belongs to and his political opinion. In addition to his brothers, Fahdel has two more relatives who are imprisoned, one of whom has been sentenced to death.

Fahdel’s arrest and imprisonment are in violation of Bahrain’s obligations under international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (CAT). Fahdel was not promptly presented before a judicial authority and he was subjected to arbitrary detention, as well as enforced disappearance, confessions obtained under torture and an unfair trial, in violation of Articles 7, 9, 10 and 14 of the ICCPR and the CAT. Additionally, Fahdel’s discrimination on the basis of religion and political belief violates Articles 18 and 19 of the ICCPR.

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls on the Government of Bahrain to release Fahdel Hasan Abdulnabi. If serious criminal charges can be brought against him, a new trial should be conducted. Finally, we call on the government to investigate the allegations of torture and ill treatment, with a view towards holding the perpetrators accountable.