Profile in Persecution: AbdulAziz AbdulRedha Isa

AbdulAziz AbdulRedha Isa was a 23-year-old security guard when he was arrested without a warrant in 2011 after a raid. AbdulAziz was brutally tortured afterwards, which resulted in severe head and body injuries. After being unfairly convicted by the military court, AbdulAziz was transferred to Jau Prison, where he remains to carry out his sentence.

On 6 April 2011, masked officers in civilian clothing and Special Security forces arrested AbdulAziz from a house in A’ali. Officers did not state the reason for the arrest, nor was an arrest warrant presented. AbdulAziz had been previously arrested on 6 April 2009 and released on 23 February 2011 with the start of the pro-democracy demonstrations.

After his arrest, AbdulAziz was taken to AlQurain Prison where he was interrogated without the presence of his lawyer and tortured in order to extract confessions, while news on him was completely cut off from his family. Special Security Officers and soldiers beat him all over his body and severely hit his head, in addition to subjecting him to foot whipping  and electric shocks. As a result, AbdulAziz suffered from wounds and scars on his body, a head injury causing him convulsions and epilepsy, as well as back pain. When his family was finally able to meet him for the first time since his arrest while at the military court, signs of torture were apparent on his body.  Despite all this, AbdulAziz did not confess to the charges.

AbdulAziz was unable to challenge the evidence presented against him, and he was not allowed to communicate with his lawyer. He also did not have sufficient time and facilities to prepare for the trial. AbdulAziz was convicted in the case of running over a police officer at Pearl Roundabout and was sentenced to death by the military court. However, the death penalty was reduced to life imprisonment after appeal.

While in prison, AbdulAziz has faced different forms of mistreatment, from being denied medical treatment for the swollen gland on his neck to being subjected to beatings and torture during the events in Jau Prison in 2015. He currently suffers from provocation from Jau Prison officers. Although his family has submitted many complaints requesting to improve his condition, they have not had any real outcome or response.

On 25 March 2021, Abdulaziz tested positive for the Coronavirus and informed his family about his infection in a call. He reported that the overcrowded cells were not sufficiently ventilated and that there was no application of precautionary measures to limit the transmission of the virus between prisoners. In addition, the cells were not cleaned and sterilized regularly.  Since then, his parents have not received any news concerning his state of health or whether he is given any medical treatment. The only information they received is that he was transferred to medical isolation in AlHidd Center. However, when his mother visited the center to check on him, she was told that he was not held there.

The treatment Abdulaziz has suffered at the hands of Bahraini authorities, from his arrest, torture, and mistreatment he endured during detention, to being deprived of prompt medical treatment, constitutes violations of the Bahraini constitution as well as international law, including the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), all of which were ratified by Bahrain. As such, ADHRB calls upon Bahraini authorities to drop the preselected charges against AbdulAziz and to investigate claims of torture and inhumane treatment by AlQurain and Jau prison officers as well as army personnel in order to hold those officials accountable. Finally, ADHRB urges Bahraini authorities to provide AbdulAziz with the necessary medical care going forward, as well as allow him to regularly call his family in order to inform them of his whereabouts and wellbeing.