Profile in Persecution: Husain Ali Khairalla

Husain Ali Khairalla was only 16 years old when officers from Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior arrested him on political motivations in 2015. He was consequently tortured and convicted in several unfair trials. He is currently serving his sentence in Jau Prison.

On 24 May 2015, Husain, still a high school student, was arrested in Bani Jamra, where riot police surrounded him and threw him to the ground, mocking him after his fall. At midnight, riot police and masked officers in civilian clothing raided his house, threatening his family members at gun point. Neither a search warrant nor an arrest warrant was presented throughout this. He had been wanted for two years prior to his arrest on the basis of political cases.

Husain was taken to AlKhayyala police station where he was subjected to torture that lasted for two weeks and was so severe to the point where Husain had blood in his urine. His other physical injuries from his arrest also went untreated. During this process he was either completely prevented from communicating with his family or was only granted brief calls of a few seconds. He was only allowed to see his family one month after his arrest. At no point in the interrogation process was he allowed access to a lawyer or, at any other point during his initial court sentencing.

Husain was sentenced to a prison term of more than 100 years in several cases. He was not allowed to adequately prepare for trial, meet him lawyer, or challenge evidence raised against him, and he was promptly brought before a judge. For the first four years of his imprisonment, Husain was kept in New Dry Dock Prison for young convicts. After turning 21, he was transferred to Jau Prison.

After this transfer he was again denied visits with his family, this time under the pretext of the Coronavirus pandemic. He tested positive for the Coronavirus when it spread in prison, and he informed his family of the infection. He was in Building 12 and was moved to Building 20. At this time, he demanded, along with other prisoners, to be moved to a different ward; they were being kept with prisoners with contagious diseases and psychological disorders and wanted to be with other political prisoners. This demand only resulted in prison authorities denying them phone calls and yard visits for 22 days.

Husain’s basic human rights were violated by authorities throughout his arrest, trials, interrogation, and imprisonment. His warrantless arrest, disappearance, torture, and denial of access to his lawyer and family constitute a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, considering the fact that he was a minor at the time of his arrest. As such, ADHRB demands that Husain be immediately and unconditionally released and that his allegations of torture are impartially investigated to hold perpetrators accountable.