Profile in persecution: Hasan Abdulla Ahmed

Hasan Abdulla Ahmed was only 19 years old when he was arrested without a reason or warrant. He is currently held in Jau Prison, where he suffers from various medical conditions amidst medical negligence and ambiguity at the hands of the administration.

On 31 July 2014, Hasan was on his way to Mecca to perform Umrah when he was arrested by officers in civilian clothing during a search in Bahrain on the King Fahd Causeway. The authorities did not present any arrest warrant, and the reason for the arrest was not indicated.

Hasan was forcibly disappeared for a week after his call on the day of his arrest, during which he was interrogated. While Hasan did not disclose details of his mistreatment out of fear since his calls are monitored, he had been beaten all over his body, especially on his back, which led to him developing disc disease and needing to be transferred to the hospital after losing consciousness. Hasan ended up confessing to the charges raised against him under torture. Hasan was only able to contact his lawyer two months after his arrest and met with his family after his transfer to  Dry Dock Detention Center. Hasan was accused  of fraudulent cards and manufacture of explosives, and he was sentenced to 27 years in prison and a 2,000-Bahraini-Dinar fine.

In early November, Hasan was taken to  Salmaniya Hospital to remove and biopsy the swollen glands found all over his body, which had appeared in 2019, and to treat his sickle cell anemia, which requires frequent blood transfusions. Hasan was also suffering from lowered oxygen levels and a lung infection; he had been in good health prior to his arrest. Hasan underwent an operation to extract a sample from the glands, after doctors were reluctant about removing them due to their size. However,  Hasan was returned to prison before the biopsy results came back, and his family learned of this through the hospital staff after they called the hospital when Hasan did not call at the scheduled time. This occurred despite the fact that doctors were worried about the glands in his chest and indicated that a solution must be found. Hasan was supposed to be returned to the hospital for another operation on 20 December, but he has not called his family to confirm this as of yet. Hasan had been denied treatment several times throughout his imprisonment, where he indicated that his treatment program was suspended for no reason at the military hospital on 13 October 2019.

Bahraini authorities’ treatment of Hasan, from his arbitrary and warrantless arrest, denial of fair trial and due process rights, to his 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 Hasan a retrial that respects international standards of fair trial. Finally, ADHRB calls upon authorities to urgently investigate allegations of ill-treatment and torture with a view to holding the responsible officers accountable and to ensure that Hasan is provided timely treatment for his disc disease, sickle cell anemia, and swollen glands, while keeping his family informed of his condition and whereabouts.