Profile in Persecution: Salman Abbas Al-Ismaeel

Salman Abbas Al-Ismaeel was 16 years old, still a student from Al-Nuwaidat, when officers from the Minister of Interior arrested him in 2012 for the first time. He was taken from his home while he was asleep, and his family only learned of his arrest by the evening of the next day when he called and informed them of his whereabouts. He was beaten to the point where the left side of his face was partially paralyzed, for which he did not receive any treatment despite his family’s requests. After serving his three-year sentence, Salman was released, but he was wanted by authorities shortly after, which led to his re-arrest and arbitrary detention in 2018. Now, 26-year old Salman is serving an unjust sentence in Jau Prison. 

Salman was arrested for the second time on 20 December 2018 when the masked and unmasked Ministry of Interior officers barged into his house warrantlessly and chased him out while throwing rocks on his head and already injured hand that underwent a surgery, and he was arrested right then.

After his arrest, Salman was tortured at the CID until he confessed to the charges against him, and his forced confession was used on state TV  and local newspapers where they published his name and picture accusing him of being a member of a terrorist cell. Officers beat Salman, targeting his face, insulted him, called him a traitor, and threatened to target his family.. 

On 16 April 2019, Salman was sentenced to seven years in prison alongside 137 other defendants in the Bahraini Hezbollah case. Among his charges was undergoing training in Iran even though the only time he traveled there was on a family trip with his sister and children. His sister was a witness in his trial and gave her testimony that he was with his family during his short stay in Iran, but Salman was convicted nevertheless. He had not been able to communicate with his lawyer throughout the interrogation and trial. 

On 10 August 2022, all communication and family visits with Salman were suspended. Visits were canceled for vague administrative reasons, and authorities claimed that Salman and other prisoners had been refusing calls. .

Salman’s warrantless arrest, torture and unfair trial go against 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 party to. As such, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (AHDHRB) calls on the Bahraini authorities to release Salman, who was denied a fair trial and due process rights and tortured into confessing and to ensure that any retrial meets international standards of a fair trail. Furthermore, ADHRB urges the relevant authorities to provide Salman with his visitation rights and let his family communicate with him regularly and safely.