The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern about the well being of Ahmed Mohammed Saleh AlArab (22 years old), Mansoor Ali Mansoor AlJamri (19 years old) and Hussain AlGhasrah who were arrested early morning of 9 January 2014 in Hamad Town. Until the time of writing this report, the families of the arrested men were not able to get any information on their whereabouts or wellbeing. The Bahrain authorities continue to use torture as a method of punishment as well as to extract false confessions, then use it to pass harsh sentences in unfair trials.
Ahmed AlArab is a 22 year old nursing student from Bani Jamra. Similar to other youth from areas known for protest, his name has been on a wanted list for three years which forced AlArab to stop his education and go into hiding due to fear of arrest and probable torture. AlArab’s family received several summons in the recent period asking for Ahmed to “turn himself in immediately” with no mention of charges of reasons. According to credible information obtained by the BCHR, several of those recently arrested from Bani Jamra were asked about AlArab’s whereabouts, and were reportedly subjected to torture to reveal any information they had.
Early this morning house raids where conducted in Hamad Town, where security forces found Ahmed AlArab as well as Mansoor AlJamri (19 years old) in the home of Hussain AlGhasrah. All three of them were arrested and the house was ransacked. At around 3pm, Ahmed AlArab’s home was raided. Security forces searched the backyard, digging in the sand, and forbidding anyone from watching while they dug. The family later found out that they burst one of the water pipes in the ground. AlArab’s father was then interrogated by the masked officers asking if anyone hid anything in their backyard, to which the father responded negatively. One of AlArab’s family members saw Ahmed sitting in a tainted black jeep (plate number 370328) outside the house when an officer opened the car door. A police officer reportedly hit Ahmed and the family heard him screaming before they left. When the father inquired as to Ahmed’s whereabouts, the officer denied that they had him, saying that they were still looking for him.
Mansoor Ali AlJamri (19 years old) has been in hiding since his release from prison in Sep 2012. During his previous arrest in April 2012, AlJamri was subjected to beatings and torture, after which he was sentenced to 6 months in prison. Despite his young age, AlJamri was unable to graduate high school due to fear of getting arrested again if he attended his classes.
Ahmed AlArab’s family told BCHR that he has already been charged and convicted in several political cases, with sentences reaching up to 25 years in prison.
Given previous cases the BCHR has documented, there is very serious concern about both AlArab and AlJamri getting subjected to severe torture especially during the first period of arrest, as they are held incommunicado. Additionally, BCHR fears that detained Hussain AlGhasra might suffer punishment for providing shelter to these two men. In previously documented cases, BCHR has seen victims who suffered severe torture as in the case of Ahmed AlMuqabi, just for providing refuge to civilians wanted in political cases. Urgent action is needed to protect the physical and psychological well being of the detainees.
The BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the European Union and all close allies and international institutions to put pressure on Bahraini authorities to:
- Immediately and unconditionally release Ahmed AlArab, Mansoor AlJamri and Hussain AlGhasrah along with all other detainees held on politically motivated charges due to the ongoing popular movement for freedom and democracy.
- Immediately end to the use of torture as a method to obtain confessions and provides guarantees on the safety and security of detainees.
- Hold all those who have been implicated in torture accountable, especially those in high positions who have ordered or overseen the use of torture;
- Immediately release all prisoners in cases where the only evidence presented against them in court was confessions obtained under torture;
- In criminal cases, allow independent and neutral observers to be involved in the proceedings to guarantee due process and to confirm that the crime took place.