Profile in Persecution: Mohamed Ali Baddaw

Mohamed Ali Mohsen Baddaw, a Bahraini high school student, was only 19 years old when he was arbitrarily detained in 2016, preventing him from completing his studies. He is currently serving his prison sentence in Jau prison where he is being denied medical attention for his Vitiligo. He also was subjected to torture and ill-treatment on multiple occasions.

Mohamed had been wanted by authorities, who pursued and threatened him for 3 years. He was in fact sentenced to 6 years in prison before his arrest on 16 January 2016, when a large group of riot police arrested him at gunpoint at AlEttifaq Sports Club near his house without presenting a warrant. They then took him in a civilian car, beat him while he was handcuffed and blindfolded, and drove him to the Budaiya police station.

Hours after his arrest, Mohamed called his family and told them he was at the Budaiya police station. Criminal investigations officers and a group of police forces interrogated him for hours without his lawyer present, on cases which he was sentenced to in absentia and cases that were still being considered by the court. They then tortured him by breaking a chair on his back, severely beat him, and forced him to sign confessions which he wasn’t even allowed to read. The next day, Mohamed called his family again to tell them he was transferred to New Dry Dock Prison, for convicts under 21 years. He was deprived of sleep and prayer for several days and was only able to contact his family again a month after his transfer to New Dry Dock Prison.

Mohamed was sentenced in 11 different cases on several charges  including arson, illegal assembly and rioting, manufacture of explosives, and triggering an explosion, among others. His combined sentences reached 39 years in prison, but after several appeals they were reduced to 23 years and 3 months.

Mohamed faced mistreatment while in New Dry Dock Prison and later on after his transfer to Jau Prison as well. Mohamed suffers from Vitiligo and had been receiving treatment before his arrest. However, his condition has been neglected by authorities, and his family attempted to bring the necessary medicines to New Dry Dock Prison several times, but they were prohibited from doing so. Consequently, his condition has worsened. Currently, in Jau Prison, he suffers from fainting when he gets tired, and his vitiligo has worsened further due to stress, neglect and poor hygiene.

Bahraini authorities’ actions against Mohamed, from his arrest and interrogation to his treatment in prison, are in violation of international law and standards, including the Convention Against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Mandela Rules. ADHRB calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by annulling Mohamed’s convictions in unfair trials  and ensuring that any subsequent retrial is consistent with due process and fair trial rights. ADHRB additionally urges the authorities to investigate claims of torture and ill treatment, to hold those officials accountable, and to provide Mohamed and all prisoners with proper and timely medical treatment.