Profile in Persecution: Husain Ali Husain (Shaikh)

Husain Ali Husain was a 23-year-old Bahraini student when he was arrested without a warrant in an ambush. Husain was tortured and subjected to several human rights violations, including infringements on his due process and fair trial rights. He is currently held in Jau Prison.

On 28 December 2018, riot police and intelligence forces set up an ambush in Nuwaidrat. They raided and searched Husain’s family home in its entirety.  Officers immediately arrested the seven people who were there, as well as Husain who was chased and whose glasses were broken. Husain was subsequently arrested without a warrant and taken to the CID in Adliya.

Before his arrest, Husain suffered from eye problems that required surgery. As a result of the high cost of private healthcare in Bahrain, he traveled to Iran for treatment. Upon his return through Kuwait, he was first interrogated in Kuwait and then became wanted on political charges in Bahrain. He would receive summons to his home, but none of them mentioned the charges.

Husain remained at the CID in Adliya for 24 days, where he was tortured and mistreated. Then, he was transferred to Jau Prison on 20 January 2019, where he was tortured and kept standing for 24 hours without sitting. In addition, water would be poured on him, and he would be placed in a cold air-conditioned room. His lawyer was not allowed to be present throughout this duration. As a result of the torture, Husain confessed and signed papers while blindfolded. When he was presented before the PPO, his lawyer was not allowed to speak to him, and Husain’s confessions were taken.

Husain was convicted of joining and funding a terrorist group prior to his arrest, sentenced to 10 years in prison, and fined 100,000 Bahraini Dinars on 29 November 2018. He was convicted in three other cases, including the Bahraini Hezbollah case, on terrorism-related charges and other charges pertaining to arson, illegal assembly, possession of weapons, and detonating a bomb, for which he was handed a 7-year, 3-year, and another 7-year sentence, along with a 100,00 Bahraini Dinar fine, making the total of his sentence 27 years in prison. The Court of Appeal upheld all judgments. Husain’s family was only able to meet with him two months after his transfer to Jau Prison.

Husain’s medical condition had deteriorated in prison due to medical negligence. He experiences chronic pain and recurrent fits of distress whereby he is unable to even move around and requires help from inmates to walk to the bathroom. Despite this, he is denied treatment, and the prison clinic refuses to even prescribe him painkillers. Additionally, while the family has submitted complaints requesting that Husain receive proper treatment, the administration has failed to transfer him to the hospital for his scheduled appointments.

On 2 June 2021, Husain was infected with Coronavirus. Despite exhibiting severe symptoms and his repeated requests to be tested and treated, the administration only tested him for the virus after he fell during prayer and suffered convulsions due to his high temperature. He was able to call his family and inform them of his infection, but then could not contact them for a week. During this time, he was transferred to AlHidd Center, where he would only receive Panadol irregularly. After Husain called his family and informed them he would be returning to Jau Prison, contact with him was cut off. His family then received news that Husain was in solitary confinement after conducting a sit-in with other inmates to protest the inadequate treatment in prison.

Husain’s treatment at the hands of Bahraini authorities, from his arrest, the torture and mistreatment that he endured during interrogation, to being deprived of a fair trial, constitutes violations of international law, including the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which were ratified by Bahrain. Furthermore, the treatment he faced in prison, especially while infected with the Coronavirus, is in violation of the Mandela Rules. ADHRB calls upon the authorities to drop the preselected charges against Hasan and to investigate claims of torture and inhumane treatment in order to hold the perpetrators accountable. Finally, ADHRB urges Bahraini authorities to hold a retrial for Hasan that respects international standards of fair trial and provide him with adequate medical treatment for his condition.