Sayed Ali was an 18-year-old student when he was arrested in a house raid in June 2022, and he had been previously arrested multiple times, for participating in a peaceful demonstration condemning the normalization agreement between Bahrain and the Israeli occupation. He was denied his due process and fair trial rights, and he is currently serving his sentence in New Dry Dock Prison.
Sayed Ali had been arrested for the first time at 17, on 7 October 2021, when multiple army vehicles raided his house. He was transferred from his house to Hamad Town Roundabout police station, and he was questioned from the morning until late at night without his lawyer or guardian, as he was still a minor, and he was not allowed to present any evidence. He was interrogated regarding a peaceful demonstration against normalization in Aali, where he lives. He was released after signing a pledge not to participate in assemblies or riots again.
Sayed Ali was arrested again on 13 June 2022, when officers in civilian clothing and riot police raided the house at 4:30 am. Some spread on the rooftop of the house, while others were knocking on the door violently. When the door was opened, an officer in civilian clothing grabbed Sayed Ali by his hand and neck. They did not present an arrest warrant and when asked about the reason for his arrest, stated that he had been sentenced in a rioting case.
The next day, Sayed Ali called his mother and told her that he was in Khamis police station and would be transferred to the 17th Roundabout station for detention and then to the New Dry Dock Prison for young convicts. There, he was held in a cell alone for two days, then other defendants in the same case were brought into the cell. He would be allowed out of his cell twice a day for one hour. His family has not been able to visit him on the pretext of COVID-19 regulations.
On 31 May 2022, Sayed Ali had been sentenced, along with five other youths from the same area, to a year in prison and a fine of 500 Bahraini Dinars in absentia, on charges of manufacturing and possessing flammable canisters and participating in an illegal assembly. He was convicted in absentia because neither he nor his lawyer attended the court sessions. This case was in connection to the demonstration protesting the normalization agreement in Aali.
Bahrain’s imprisonment of Sayed Ali for practicing his right to freedom of expression and assembly in opposing the normalization agreement violates international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Bahrain is a party to. ADHRB calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by releasing all individuals imprisoned for peaceful political activism, including Sayed Ali, immediately and unconditionally.