Profile in Persecution: Mohamed AbdulJabbar Sarhan

Mohamed AbdulJabbar Sarhan, was a 20-year-old first-year university student at the University of Bahrain before being arbitrarily detained in Dry Dock Detention Center, where he currently awaits his sentence.

Mohamed was arrested on 22 November 2021 at 3 a.m. by officers in civilian clothing and riot police. The forces raided his grandfather’s house without presenting a warrant, confiscating his deceased grandfather’s cars as well as 3 phones. After filming the raid and Mohamed’s arrest, the officers took him to the criminal investigation building.

At the CID, investigations forces tortured him to confess to the location of the weapons they claimed were in his possession although Mohamed insisted that he had not done anything. He was beaten on the face and all over his body. His genitals were cauterized, and he was sexually assaulted. The interrogation lasted 10 days and was held without the presence of Mohamed’s lawyer. The PPO repeatedly extended his pre-trial detention while he is being held at Dry Dock Detention Center.

After his lawyer requested an urgent investigation into Mohamed’s torture, on 9 February 2022, the special investigation committee met with Mohamed, who disclosed details of the torture, and they told him that they would send a forensic doctor for examination. On the same day, the forensic doctor came to the detention center, without examination tools, to check on Mohamed, only taking photographs with his phone. The family has yet to receive a letter or response to this matter. Meanwhile, Mohamed is currently suffering from shortness of breath and nosebleeds when he sleeps, and two of his teeth were broken as a result of torture.

Mohamed’s warrantless arrest, denial of access to legal counsel, and torture constitute a violation of his due process rights and right to a fair trial, enshrined in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Convention Against Torture (CAT), to which Bahrain is a signatory. As such, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls on the Bahraini government to guarantee that fair trial standards are met during Mohamed’s ongoing trial, by annulling his confession and allowing him access to his lawyer, in addition to investigating the allegation of torture effectively in order to hold perpetrators accountable and providing Mohamed with proper medical treatment for his injuries.