Profile in Persecution: Jaafar Ali Mohamed

Jaafar Ali Mohamed is a 32-year-old Bahraini citizen, who was an active participant in social activities in the Al-Qurayyah village, was warrantlessly arrested in 2014  and is currently serving his life sentence in Jau Prison.

Previously, Jaafar had been arrested twice before. On 13 April 2012, he was arrested for the first time during a raid on his house in an illegal assembly case; he was released on 28 May of the same year after the end of the second detention period. He was arrested for a second time on 6 January 2014 from Salmaniya Medical Complex where he was undergoing treatment after being injured in an accident in October 2013. He was transferred from the Salmaniya complex to an internal clinic despite losing his eyesight and being unable to move without assistance. His lawyer submitted a request to release him given the humanitarian situation, however, it was rejected. Finally, he was released on 27 January 2014, because of his health condition.

Jaafar was arrested for the third time on 23 April 2014, after security officers raided his friend’s house in the town of Sar in an ambush that led to the arrest of 7 other young men, who were all sentenced on 17 April 2014 to 10 years in prison on alleged charges of establishing an armed group and manufacturing explosives. Following his arrest, Jaafar was taken to the pretrial detention center in Dry Dock prison. He was also charged with detonating 6 explosions that targeted the security forces in Al-Qurayyah and Al-Janabiyah between 2013 and 2014, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment and revocation of citizenship. After an appeal, the Supreme Court of appeal reduced Jaafar’s first sentence to 7 years, while the court upheld the life imprisonment sentence and the revocation of his citizenship. His citizenship was later reinstated by a royal pardon decision.

During interrogations at the Central Investigation Department (CID), he was subjected to ill-treatment and psychological torture. Officers stripped him of his clothes, placed him in a very cold room, then quickly transferred him to a very hot room, despite suffering from various injuries and loss of sight. In addition, officers verbally abused him by insulting him and calling him obscene names, including “The Blind”. Jaafar was denied access to his attorney, and no one was allowed to meet him during the pre-trial detention period. 

Despite his grave medical condition, Jaafar endured medical negligence by prison authorities. The prison administration refused to transfer him to Germany to receive medical treatment to restore his eyesight. His family resorted to a German hospital after a complaint submitted to the Ombudsman requesting that the necessary treatment be provided to restore the sight of their son, even partially, was refused due to the lack of such treatment in Bahrain. The hospital has ruled based on the reports sent by the family that it could provide the necessary treatment, however, the Ombudsman denied having the authority to provide treatment outside Bahrain. Moreover, authorities also neglect his periodic hospital visits, causing him to skip several necessary treatments. 

Jaafar’s warrantless arrest, torture, and unfair trial are a violation of the Convention against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), both of which Bahrain is a party to. Furthermore, the medical negligence he endured represents a violation of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, commonly known as the Nelson Mandela Rules, upheld by the United Nations. As such, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (AHDHRB) calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Jaafar, and the impartial investigation of his torture to hold the perpetrators accountable.