Profile in Persecution: Habib AbdulHusain Hasan

Habib AbdulHusain Hasan, a 17-year-old high school student when he was beaten and warrantlessly arrested. He was consequently tortured and subjected to fair trial violations. He is currently serving his sentence in Jau Prison.

On 5 November 2015, Habib was arrested by riot police and officers in civilian clothing.  Habib was chased and took shelter in a house in his village when he heard the sound of a helicopter. He was found and beaten along with the owner of the house and his son, while the wife of the house owner was detained in an isolated room. Habib, the house owner, and the son were consequently arrested although authorities did not present an arrest warrant or indicate the reason. Multiple summonses had been sent to his house prior to his arrest, and his house was raided multiple times although authorities never specified who they were looking for.

Habib was taken to the CID in Adliya for an unknown period of time, where he was beaten and kicked to coerce him to confess to the charges against him, without the presence of his lawyer. He was only able to call his family two days after his arrest and told them that he was fine and at the CID. After Habib confessed, he was taken to New Dry Dock Prison, as a judgment had already been issued against him.

Habib was convicted in multiple cases; throughout the trials, he was not allowed to communicate with his lawyer, and authorities would often refuse to take him to court sessions. Habib was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison, which was reduced to 8 years through appeal, on charges relating to illegal assembly and rioting as well as possession of explosive canisters. His family was able to meet with him for the first time around 3 months after his imprisonment in New Dry Dock Prison.

Habib was supposed to be released in March 2020 under the Alternative Sentencing Law, to serve the remaining one year, 7 months, and 21 days of his sentence. However, during the release procedures, it became apparent that there was an old judgment against him from 2015 which was not executed and he had not signed on. Thus, he was returned to prison to complete the sentence. The remaining case turned out to be on illegal assembly and rioting, and he was tried according to the Counter-Terrorism Law.

In prison, Habib has been suffering from medical negligence with respect to his different conditions. He has skin conditions as is the case of most prisoners due to the unsanitary conditions. He also had a lump in his neck which was supposed to be removed in Salmaniya Hospital but ended up being removed in the prison clinic. Habib does not receive any treatment for his broken eye socket from an old accident. Although his family has submitted several complaints to the NIHR requesting medical treatment for Habib, authorities have not followed up on this matter. Habib is still suffering from pain in his knee as a result of an accident in October and has repeatedly requested treatment, which he has not received yet.

Bahraini authorities’ actions against Habib violate international law, including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Bahrain is a party to. As such, ADHRB calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by annulling Habib’s conviction in light of the exculpatory evidence 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 by prison officials, to hold those officials accountable, and to keep provide Habib with adequate and timely medical treatment.