Profile in Persecution: Ahmed Isa Husain

Ahmed Isa Husain was 27 years old when he was arrested at his grandfather’s house in 2016. Since his arrest, Ahmed has been subjected to torture and medical negligence. He is currently serving life imprisonment at Bahrain’s Jau Prison while suffering numerous medical conditions.

On 19 June 2016, Ahmed was arrested by officers in civilian clothing and members of Bahrain’s riot police. He was alone at his grandfather’s house when officers surrounded and raided the property around midnight, who failed to provide an arrest warrant or reasons for his arrest. Ahmed’s family only learned about his arrest from local residents who witnessed the arrest. For an entire week after his arrest, his family knew nothing about Ahmed’s whereabouts until he called and informed them that he was being held at the criminal investigation building.

Officers began torturing Ahmed from the moment of his arrest. While on the bus on the way to the detention centre, officers sat on Ahmed until he felt like he was choking and replaced his handcuffs with dog chains. Ahmed then spent approximately 10 days at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), where he was beaten until he was coerced into signing a confession to the charges against him, which was later used in the trial against him.

Ahmed was not given enough time to adequately prepare for the trial. He did not have a lawyer, nor was he allowed to present evidence against the case. He was immediately taken to Jau Prison after the investigation, having previously been sentenced to a jail term of three years five days before his arrest.  Nearly a month after his arrest, Ahmed was taken to court where he was sentenced to life imprisonment and had his citizenship revoked.  His charges included murder, attempted murder, burning tyres, illegal assembly and rioting.

In addition to violating his right to a fair trial, the administration of Jau Prison has continuously ignored his deteriorating health condition. Ahmed was injured in November 2019 after falling while playing soccer in the prison yard, causing a laceration in the joints of the foot. In addition to that, Ahmed is suffering from a number of swollen glands in his abdomen.

Despite the fact that a doctor confirmed that Ahmed needs surgery, the administration proceeded to neglect his treatment and postpone the consultations. The delay in treatment has caused the ligaments to heal incorrectly, placing Ahmed at risk of permanent disability. Following repeated requests for treatment, on 29 December 2021, Ahmed’s family received a call from Jau Prison inmates informing them that Ahmed had been admitted to hospital. Ahmed had last called them on 26 December and was finally able to call them again on 4 January 2022, after his family complained to the Ombudsman to inform them of his appointment for the glands in his abdomen.

The actions taken by the Bahraini authorities with regards to Ahmed’s warrantless arrest, torture, denial of a fair trial and medical negligence are all in clear breach of international law. Bahrain has violated its  obligations under several international treaties, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

For this reason, ADHRB calls upon the Bahraini authorities to hold a retrial where international standards of a fair trial are met. Moreover, ADHRB urges Bahraini authorities to investigate allegations of torture and inhumane treatment by the officers who interrogated Ahmed. Finally, ADHRB urgently demands that Ahmed receive proper medical treatment for his foot injury and swollen glands in his abdomen, while keeping his family informed of his whereabouts and wellbeing.