Profile in Persecution: Abduljabbar Isa Mohamed

Updated: Abduljabbar Isa Mohamed was a 20-year-old Bahraini worker at a McDonald’s when he was arrested without a warrant in November 2021. He was sentenced in a mass trial lacking fair trial procedures for a duration of ten years. Currently, Abduljabbar is suffering, along with many political prisoners, from the escalating policy of medical negligence in Jau Prison, which poses an imminent danger to the prisoners’ health.

On 22 November 2021, officers in civilian clothing and riot police arrested Abduljabbar from the street after the end of his shift in the Juffair region without presenting an arrest warrant or providing a reason for his arrest. Abduljabbar was not summoned prior to his arrest nor wanted by the authorities. His arrest was part of a series of arrests conducted by authorities on the same day in several areas such as Al-Aker, Duraz, and Nuwaidrat.

Abduljabbar was taken to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). He was held there for two weeks, during which time he would call for a few seconds to tell his family he was in the CID and that he was alright before the call would be cut off. During interrogation, Abduljabbar was interrogated without the presence of his lawyer, and officers subjected him to severe beating, threatened to arrest his brothers, and was threatened by electric shocks and raping. They forced him to sign the investigation record prepared in advance without reading it under death threats. They also subjected him to discriminatory treatment on the basis of his sect. He was told, “let Iran benefit you.”

On the same day of the arrest, the family learned of AbdulJabbar’s transfer to  Salmaniya Hospital from a photo that circulated on social media, stating that a political prisoner was in the hospital. The next day, on 23 November 2021, Abduljabbar called his family to inform them that they transported him to Salmaniya Hospital due to the deterioration of his health after he had fallen over, and then they took him back to the CID. His treatment ended without any medications being given to him on the pretext that they were not available at the hospital. Abduljabbar had undergone an operation prior to his arrest, so he also asked the prison administration to give the medicines prescribed to him. The administration refused his request on the grounds that it was too expensive, and they also refused to allow the family to bring them in.

On 28 February 2022, a session was held in the Public Prosecution, but Abduljabbar was not taken there. He was not even aware that he had a session until he heard about it from his family at the time of his call. The family found out from the lawyer, who was denied entry to the prosecutor’s office and had to wait outside for the decision to renew Abduljabbar’s pre-trial detention for another 30 days.

In November 2022, ADHRB received reports about several political prisoners in Dry Dock, including Abduljabbar being subjected to further violations and torture methods. They were being subjected to late-night inspections and denied visits. In addition to being deprived of proper medical treatment for their health conditions, they were also being prohibited from bringing in clothes from the outside despite the clothes they get from the prison canteen causing them allergies.

The authorities charged Abduljabbar with 1) organising terrorist groups, 2) illegal assembly and rioting, 3) arson of tires in the street, and he was interrogated about training in Iraq in 2015, when he had gone there to commemorate the fortieth of Imam Husain. Abduljabbar is currently in Dry Dock Detention Center awaiting his trial.

On 15 January 2023, the First High Criminal Court sentenced Abduljabbar in absentia to 10 years in prison in a mass trial involving twelve defendants in a case known as “Al-Ashtar Brigades”. The verdict was upheld by the court of appeal on 29 May 2023.

In May 2023, as the authorities escalated their policy of medical negligence against prisoners, Abduljabbar was among the inmates whose deteriorating health conditions were documented. Abduljabbar suffers from several ailments, including kidney and gallbladder stones, colitis, and stomach discomfort. Additionally, as a result of a previous surgery, he still requires special dietary needs and regular monitoring, which he is currently deprived of. When he demanded access to proper treatment, he was transferred to solitary confinement and denied visitation rights.

Bahraini authorities’ actions against Abduljabbar, from his arrest without a warrant, to his coerced confession under torture and his arbitrary detention, violate international law, including the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which Bahrain is a party to. Furthermore, his denial of medication and adequate medical treatment constitutes a violation of the Mandela Rules.

As such, ADHRB calls upon Bahrain to uphold its human rights obligations by releasing Abduljabbar and all political prisoners.l. ADHRB additionally urges the authorities to investigate claims of torture and ill-treatment by prison officers to hold themaccountable, and to provide Abduljabbar with adequate medical treatment.