Bahrain: Profiles in Persecution, Husain AbdulAziz Mohamed

Husain AbdulAziz Mohamed was arrested in Bahrain in 2015 and is currently detained in Jau Prison. He was 20 years old at the time of the arrest. In prison, authorities tortured him and denied him the eye surgery needed for the deterioration of his vision.

Husain was arrested on 17 April 2015 in front of his house in Buri. Officers in plain clothes came to his house, beat him and then pulled him in the police car. The arrest was carried out without any warrant nor explanation. He was subject to enforced disappearance; he has been detained at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) where officers tortured him to extort a confession. Only two or three days later, Husain was able to inform his family on his whereabouts and ask for clean clothing for him. Later, he was transferred to Dry Dock Detention Centre, where he was held pending his trial. On 20 May 2015, he was transferred to the Office of Public Prosecution and forced to repeat his confession.

On 20 September 2015, Husain was charged of illegal assembly and burning ties and sentenced to ten years in prison.The sentence was reduced to five years on appeal. Before turning 21, Husain was held in New Dry Dock, the section of Jau Prison for individuals under the age of 21. Then, he was transferred to the general section of Jau, where he is still detained.

Husain has health problems related to his sight. He lost his left eye in an accident when in he was a child. At the time of his arrest he was uniocular. Nevertheless, during his time in prison he endured a retinal detachment in his remaining eye. In 2018, the Bahrain Defence Force hospital recommended for transfer to Salmaniya Medical Complex for specialist care regarding his eye. Unfortunately, the prison did not arrange the transfer until 26 April. Once in Salmaniya Medical Complex, the nurse informed him that he should have been transferred there immediately.

Three days later Husain had surgery for the retinal detachment. Thanks to it his vision has improved. The doctor prescribed him eye drops to assist with the repairing of his vision. Husain followed the therapy prescribed in prison, however once the eye drops finished, prison authorities did not replace them. Furthermore, Husain was supposed to have a second surgery that had been scheduled before, but he never received it. Husain’s sight continues to deteriorate due to a serious lack of medical attention and he is considered legally blind. Multiple complaints were submitted about Husain’s lack of medical care to the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman, most recently on 20 December 2018. Despite the efforts, no new surgery has been scheduled and authorities have not made any accommodations for Husain’s new disability in the prison.

Husain’s arrest and detention go against Article 9 of the International Covenant and Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),to which Bahrain is a party. Furthermore, according to Article 14 of the ICCPR the coerced confessions create an unfair trial. Husain has been subject to torture, thus the Convention against Torture and other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading treatment or Punishment (CAT), to which Bahrain is a party, has been violated by the country. Additionally, the lack of medical attention goes against the Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which states in Article 12 that each person has a right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Finally, as Husain has now lost his sight, Bahrain is required under the Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities to provide reasonable accommodations in the prison for Husain’s disability.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) strongly condemns Husain’s unlawful arrest and the following tortures he has been subject to. It is deeply concerned on Husain’s health situation. Furthermore, it calls upon the government of Bahrain to release him.

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