Profile in Persecution: Sadeq Majeed Thamer and Jaafar Mohamed Sultan

Sadeq Majeed Thamer and Jaafar Mohamed Sultan are two Bahraini nationals who were recently sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Sadeq was a 26-year-old employee at Thamer Commercial Company at that time and Jaafar was a 23-year-old who participated in several religious and social activities. Accused of transporting and possessing explosive materials, they were both arrested without a warrant and subjected to enforced disappearance for 115 days while suffering from physical and psychological forms of torture. As the Saudi Court of Appeals upheld their death sentence, they now await the decision of the Supreme Court. If this is upheld, they will be at imminent risk of execution.

On 8 May 2015, King Fahd Causeway Customs Saudi authorities arrested both Sadeq and Jaafar and seized their car without presenting an arrest warrant or providing a reason for their arrest. In the beginning, they were transferred inside Saudi Arabia, and 25 days after their arrest, there was a transfer operation to Bahrain. During their transfer, and while they were on the bus with a Bahraini officer, the latter received a call and went off the bus; when he returned, he began to insult and threaten them with reprisals. They were consequently returned to Saudi Arabia.

On the same day, at about 6:30 pm, Jaafar and Sadeq’s homes in Bahrain were raided by individuals in civilian clothes, wearing white clothes belonging to the Bahraini Criminal Investigations Directorate and police force. They searched the homes without presenting a warrant. They confiscated a laptop, computer, and phones belonging to Sadeq and Jaafar as well as their family members. Their parents were not informed of their arrest and knew nothing about their whereabouts.

Sadeq and Jaafar were then taken to the General Investigation Prison in Dammam, Saudi Arabia where they were placed in solitary confinement for nearly 4 months. After 115 days of forced disappearance, they were allowed to call their parents, after their family had reached out to various Bahraini and Saudi governmental entities but were not allowed to talk to them about the condition of the detention and investigations. During their first visit with their parents on 13 October 2015, Sadeq and Jaafar informed their parents that they were subjected to physical and psychological torture and pressure to confess but did not open up about the details because of the presence of their mothers. However, in court, Jaafar told the lawyer that he was tortured and threatened with bringing his family member in to torture and pressure them. Jaafar was transferred to the hospital for ten days because of the torture he was subjected to. Similarly, Sadeq told his parents that he was slapped in the faceand threatened when refusing to sign the charges report and threatened to be put in solitary confinement again. 

On 31 May 2016, the Bahraini Fourth High Criminal Court had previously sentenced Sadeq and Jaafar in Bahrain to life imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 Bahraini dinars, for the same incident they were convicted of in Saudi Arabia, on charges of: founding and joining a terrorist group, and possessing, acquiring and manufacturing explosives (Dar Kulaib) and training on the use of weapons and explosive materials. In Saudi Arabia, the Public Prosecution charged them with joining a terrorist cell, smuggling explosive materials, and misleading the Saudi investigation authorities, and the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court sentenced them to death on 7 October 2021. On 11 January 2022, the Court of Appeal upheld the death sentence, so Sadeq and Jaafar were left with the opportunity to appeal the ruling before the Saudi Supreme Court within a period not exceeding a month.

During the interrogation period, Saudi authorities did not allow their lawyer to meet with Sadeq and Jaafar. They were not given enough time to adequately prepare for the trial nor were they allowed to present evidence. 

Hence, ADHRB calls upon Saudi authorities to revoke their death sentences and coordinate with the relevant Bahraini authorities to return them to Bahrain. Also, ADHRB urges Saudi authorities to investigate allegations of torture with a view of holding perpetrators accountable.