Bahrain: the case of Sayed Ali Fadhul, a harmful teenager wrongfully detained

Sayed Ali Fadhul is a teenager of 16 years of age who was arrested without a warrant by the Bahraini government, tortured, and denied a fair trial on September 2018. Bahraini officials have indiscriminately detained Fadhul and been carrying out his unfair sentence. The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) subpoenaed Fadhul multiple times in the past year, never addressing the motivations behind his summonses.

Ali Fadhul was arrested the first time at approximately 3:30 am on 10 September 2018, the first day of the new school year. Bahraini authorities illegally raided his home, jailing Fadhul without a warrant and transferred him to the CID, where he suffered ill-treatments for a total of 21 days. He was blindfolded, handcuffed, deprived of food and water multiple times and was exposed to forced standing.

The national authorities accused Fadhul for violently attacking security forces of Diraz and for throwing a fake bomb in Sitra. After the detention at the CID, the officials relocated Fadhul to New Dry Dock Detention Center, where he is currently serving his sentence. Ali Fadhul showed signs of physical torture, including evident marks on his forehead. Moreover, he suffered considerable weight loss, loss of balance, and an abnormally high red blood cell count.

He was momentarily released on 28 October 2018, but authorities maintained the charges against him and proceeded with trial. However, freedom of movement lasted very shortly. On 16 January 2019, Fadhul was sitting in his father’s car near his home when officers circled Fadhul’s neighbourhood and surrounded the vehicle, obliging Fadhul to come out and arrest him. Furthermore, officers raided his home just before taking him to the CID. The officers did not show any form of warrant for any of their actions.

At the CID headquarters, officers aggressively questioned Fadhul and continuously threatened him with the use of force. The officers also interrogated Fadhul about the two previous charges. During the interrogations, officers tortured the prisoner. They beat him and shouted at him. The interrogation lasted three days and Fadhul spent about 20 days at the CID.

The court’s verdict was presented on 13 February. Fadhul is charged of all accusations related to the Diraz case. He is sentenced to six months in prison, a 200-Dinar fine, and the seizure of confiscated items. However, the court suspended the execution of the verdict. The court cleared Fadhul’s charges for the fake bomb episode in Sitra and the one in al-Daih Town. Fadhul was not present in court to hear his own conviction, for permission was not given by authorities.

On 5 March 2019, officials transferred Ali Fadhul and others to the court for a hearing on the charges of organizing marches in Diraz and illegal assembly. After the court session ended, everyone except Fadhul returned to New Dry Dock. Authorities instead took Fadhul to the CID.  Four days later, Fadhul called his family and told them that he was still at the CID. On 11 March, he called his parents to tell them that he had been transferred to the convicted section of New Dry Dock to serve his six-month sentence, despite the stay of execution.  On 13 March, the court upheld the six months detention.

On 21 March, without informing his lawyer, the officials transferred Fadhul to court, where he learned of three new charges against him: receiving training on weapons in and outside of Bahrain, participating in riots in Diraz in August 2018, and throwing Molotov cocktails and participating in arson in Bani Jamra in September 2018. He denies all the charges against him. Fadhul is currently serving at New Dry Dock.

Bahrain has clearly violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Bahrain is bonded to. In addition, Bahrain has disobeyed principles of international law treasured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Officers arrested Fadhul with any form of warrant or charge, authorities failed to provide legal assistance or parental supervision during his interrogation at the CID, did not bring him before a judge on time and repetitively tortured him. Moreover, he was arbitrarily detained, and he was denied of a just and fair trial. Bahrain’s government continues to indiscriminately detain him by carrying out the sentence of a deliberately unfair trial.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) denounces the continuous illogical and irrational Bahraini repression. We are deeply saddened for Sayed Ali Fadhul’s case and we stand close to him, his family and all those activists, politicians and defenders who struggle and are daily subjected to such authoritative and repressive government.

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