Profile in persecution: Husain Abdulla Marhoon Rashed

Husain Abdulla Marhoon Rashed is a 31 years old bahraini from Al Diraz, who was warrantlessly arrested in 2017, tortured and charged in a terrorist case. He faced numerous violations in fair trial procedures, which led him to confess to the charges brought against him. He was sentenced to death, and after exhausting all legal remedies, is currently on the death row at Jaw prison where he faces the risk of execution at any moment.

Previously, Husain was arrested several times before his final arrest in 2017. He was arrested in 2008 for participating in the Martyr’s Day demonstration and then again arrested in December 2011, when he participated in a peaceful protest in Al-Dara town. He was detained for months. Hussein was arrested for the last and third time on 28 June 2017, by officers in civilian clothing, officers from the Ministry of the Interior and officers of the National Security Agency while he was sleeping. They raided the house without the permission of the Public Prosecution and without the permission of the owners of the house. Husain was asleep during the raid; they woke him up and isolated him in one of the house’s rooms. He was beaten, blindfolded and taken to a car where he was beaten again and electrocuted.

After that, Husain was disappeared for 20 days from the time of arrest at the criminal investigation (CID). His family did not know about what happened until he called them after 20 days and told them that he was okay and he was at the CID, but his voice seemed tired and he asked for clothes. Husain’s torture started from the day of arrest and continued during investigation at the (CID) and   then at the Jau Prison. He was threatened and severely beated all over his body, especially the sensitive area. They threatened him to harm his family and arrested two of his brothers to pressure him. His house was also raided after his arrest. He was also denied legal counsel during the interrogations.

His health was affected due to malnutrition and ill-treatment, and he was deprived of his medication and his eyeglasses. He wears eyeglasses due to an eye injury which weakened his vision in one eye and made him lose vision in the other. He sustained various other injuries, mostly while being pursued by the police. In February 2013, he was shot in the head and a part of his skull was smashed and he was taken to the hospital by people living in the area where he underwent a surgery.  In July 2013, he was injured by Shotgun pellets in his left eye, after the suppression of a peaceful protest at Al-Diraz; subsequently he suffered from bleeding in the eye.    After almost two months of his arrest husain family visited him on 7 August 2017 for the first time. As a result of the torture,  he asked for medical treatment, but was denied.

On 12 November 2018, Husain was sentenced to death, life imprisonment, revoking the citizenship and a fine of 1,000 BD on charges of killing a policeman and injuring two others in Diraz on June 18 2017, as well as possessing weapons and training on the use of weapons and explosives to commit and participate in terrorist crimes. During the trials, he was denied legal counsel, and was prohibited from presenting evidence that indicated his innocence. The court of Appeal upheld the verdict on 25 February 2019, and the Court of Cassation upheld the verdict on 20 May 2019. This means he exhausted all remedies, leaving only the King’s sanction to carry out the sentence. He is currently on the death row awaiting his execution at any moment.

Husain warrantless arrest, torture, and unfair trial are a violation of the convention against torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of punishment (CAT) and the international convention on civil and political rights (ICCPR), both of which bahrain is a party to. Moreover, the violations which he faced during his imprisonment in particular medical negligence are a violation of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules). Therefore, Americans for Democracy and human rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls on the Bahraini authorities to respect its human rights obligations and commitments by overturning the death sentence issued against Husain Abdullah Marhoon Rashed. Moreover, ADHRB calls on authorities to ensure that future trials are in line with the right to a fair and independent trial, and demand investigations into allegations of torture and accountability for the perpetrators, as well as calling for a moratorium on death sentences with a view to their final abolition.