Profile in Persecution: Yaser Jawad Ahmed

Yaser Jawad Ahmed is a 22-year-old Bahraini who was arrested without a warrant by Bahraini authorities in 2021. He faced various fair trial and due process violations and is currently serving his 3-year sentence in Jau Prison.

At 5 a.m. on 26 April 2021, officers from the Ministry of Interior attacked and raided Yaser’s house, chased him, and violently arrested him without a warrant in Khadamat street. He was accused of participating in the bombing that took place at an ATM machine belonging to the Bank of Bahrain on 3 February 2021 and sheltering a wanted individual.

Authorities disappeared Yaser for 7 days, and his lawyer was not permitted to attend the investigations. Afterwards, he called his family to inform them that he was at the CID. He was then taken to the Office of the Public Prosecution to be interrogated again without his lawyer. Officers tortured him until he confessed to the allegations made against him.

On 14 September 2021, Yaser was sentenced to three years in prison in a mass trial that included 13 defendants. He was charged with: 1- sheltering a convict in the case of the National Bank of Bahrain bombing, helping him move, and hiding him from the police 2- Knowing about the explosion and participating in it. His appeal has been postponed. Yaser was pursued from the age of 15, and he was previously arrested in January 2016 and sentenced to four years in prison, which he served in full, only to be arrested again a year after his release. He has two older brothers who are also convicted on political charges.

Yaser suffers from pain in his stomach and abdomen and has not received any treatment so far. In Jau Prison, he caught the Coronavirus and was transferred to the Dry Dock Prison, where authorities examined and quarantined him, but did not inform his family, who found out some time after when Yaser himself called and informed them.

Bahraini authorities’ treatment of Yaser, from his arbitrary and warrantless arrest, denial of fair trial and due process rights, torture, and ill-treatment, all constitute violations of Bahrain’s obligations under the Constitution and under international treaties, namely the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Therefore, ADHRB urges authorities to grant Yaser a retrial that respects international evidentiary standards and is not based on false confessions extracted under duress. Finally, ADHRB calls upon authorities to urgently investigate allegations of ill-treatment and torture with a view to holding the responsible officers accountable.