Profile in Persecution: Jasim Mohamed AlAjwaid

Jasim Mohamed AlAjwaid is a 25-year-old Bahraini who was arrested at the age of 18, tortured, forcibly disappeared, and sentenced in several unfair trials. He is currently serving a 37-year sentence in Jau Prison.

Jasim was arrested in the early hours of 22 February 2015 when officers in civilian clothes arrived  in civilian cars to the farm where he was sleeping with his friend and proceeded to torture him with beatings and electric shocks for two hours until riot police showed up and put him on a 16-passenger bus. No arrest warrant was presented. Jasim had been wanted for 3 years, and his house was raided repeatedly throughout this period. His sister was threatened with arrest for objecting to the house raids .

Jasim was forcibly disappeared for an entire week where he lost contact with his family who was not informed of his whereabouts despite their communication with the CID, which denied knowing his location. However, during the interrogation, Jasim was in fact taken to the CID and subjected to torture for a whole week without the presence of a lawyer. He was beaten severely, forced to stand for long hours and deprived of sleep. He was completely undressed, and they chained his legs from top to bottom. Furthermore, interrogation officers threatened to harm Jasim’s wife. He was subjected to electric shocks in sensitive places, in addition to constant insults and cursing. Since the torture during his arrest and throughout the interrogation, Jasim was being forced to confess to the charge of hiding weapons. Everytime Jasim would be taken to the PPO, he would deny the charges against him and would be returned to the CID to be tortured; this occured three times. Jasim ended up confessing in only one of the many cases against him.

Jasim was sentenced to a total sentence of 45 years, which was reduced to 37 years after appeal due to his age. He was convicted in a number of cases with a political background, and some judgments were issued in absentia. Jasim had informed the judge during one of the trials that he was coerced into confessing under torture, but the judge threatened to send him back to interrogations. Jasim was first held in New Dry Dock Prison then transferred to Jau Prison once he turned 22.

In prison, Jasim has been denied proper health care for a multitude of issues.  He suffered from chest pain as a result of the torture and being hit with an object on his chest. Jasim also contracted Coronavirus twice but did not receive the required care, products, or medication. Moreover, for the last four years, Jasim has been suffering from glands which began to appear on his feet and eventually spread to his thighs and back due to neglect, to the point where Jasim cannot sit down. Despite Jasim and his family’s demands, he has yet to receive proper medical treatment.

Furthermore, Jasim has been subjected to physical and psychological mistreatment in prison. In one incident, he was beaten for three consecutive days, whereby officers would check his body routinely, and when they would not find any marks, they would continue beating him. When he was transferred to Jau Prison upon turning 22, an officer threatened to drug him. Additionally, over the years, Jasim has been denied visits without reason, with an officer threatening to deprive him of visits according to his mood.

Bahrain’s actions against Jasim violate international law, including the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in terms of his arrest without warrant, torture, and interrogation without a lawyer. ADHRB calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by annulling Jasim’s convictions 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 provide Jasim with adequate and timely medical care.