Profile in Persecution: Ahmed Abdulla Marhoon Rashed

Ahmed Abdulla Marhoon Rashed is a 34-year-old Bahraini from Diraz, who was the goalkeeper for Al-Itifaq club and the Bahraini national football team. He was warrantlessly arrested from his home, charged in the terrorism case known as “Al-Ashtar Brigades,” and is currently detained at Dry Dock Detention Center awaiting the court verdict.

Ahmed was initially arrested  on 7 August 2012 by armed officers. They raided his house at dawn and arrested him under the pretext that he was wanted by the police. Following his arrest, his family called the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), the Public Prosecution Office (PPO), and the Roundabout 17 police station, who all reported that Ahmed was not with them.  Two days after his arrest, Ahmed called his family asking for clean clothes to be brought to him at the Dry Dock Detention Center. After this, he was transferred to the CID where the officers there tortured him. They prevented him from sleeping, forced him to stand for more than 6 days, and falsely accused him of a role in the “Diraz explosion” case. 

One year after his arrest, he was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months imprisonment. However, this sentence was increased after the events of 16 August 2013 at the “ward 10” of Dry Dock Detention Center, where prison officers attacked the prisoners and severely harmed them. This coincided with a government security crackdown against demonstrations occurring across the country. After the August 16th attack, the prisoners didn’t receive any medical care, but were instead falsely accused of assaulting police officers. As a result, Ahmed was sentenced to an additional 3 years in prison bringing his total sentence to 8 years and 6 months. He spent 7 years in prison and was released under alternative sentencing on 18 March 2019.  He worked for 6 months at Al-Aarin reserve as an alternative punishment.

On 22 November 2021, in the early hours of dawn, a group of officers in civilian clothing raided his house and arbitrarily arrested him for the second time. During transport in a police bus, officers beat Ahmed and threatened to rape him. Hours after his arrest, he was allowed to call his family to inform them that he was at the CID but then not allowed calls with them for about 2 more weeks. During interrogations, officers tortured Ahmed, beating him to the point of death and threatening to electrocute him. Moreover, he was denied access to his lawyer during the interrogations and forced to sign a pre-prepared interrogation report under the threat of death and without reading its contents. Authorities then transferred him to Dry Dock Detention Center and prevented him from place phone calls and visitation rights.

Ahmed was charged with joining a terrorist cell, possession of explosive devices, weapons and ammunition, military training, and receiving and delivering money from the terrorist cell, but his sentence will not be issued until January of 2023 in a mass trial. 

Ahmed’s warrantless arrest, torture, and unjust trail constitute a direct violation of International Convention Against Torture (CAT), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), both of which Bahrain is party to. Thus, ADHRB  demands that Ahmed be immediately and unconditionally released and that his torture be impartially investigated to hold perpetrators accountable.