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حق: حركة الحريات والدموقراطية- البحرين

الـحـقـوق للـجـمـيـع .. Rights for All

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مـكـتـب حـقـوق الإنـسـان Human Rights Bureau

Bahrain: In the first case hearing, State-militia car detainees spell out suffering of torture

Public Prosecution accused of collusion to force detainees to confess before the Judge

At about 10:30 am local time on Sunday, June 1, 2008, and in an intense presence of security forces filling out the court building and clogging its entrances, Sheikh Mohammed Al Khalifa- the Higher criminal court judge- convened the first hearings for 19 youths from Karzakan village in case No. 435/2008/1 The 19 detainees are accused of the following:

1) crowd (illegal assembly) of more than 5 people, the purpose of which is to commit offences against assets and persons. 2) Committing crimes of murder with premeditation, while crowd. 3) Prelude intention and determination to set blaze f any police car to pass away, using incendiary bottles (cocktails) and stones, and an ambush in a place ascertains the passage of security vehicles. Once the car having the victim passed by, it was showered by the 19 detainees aiming for the loss of that life of the victim whose injuries which claimed his life. 4) deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of two people, but the crime was not accomplished, because the two victims came out of the car and resisted. 5) setting blaze to a police car which would endanger lives of persons and properties and expose it to risk.

After the judge read out the names of detainees to ensure their presence, he faced them with the charges prepared by the Public Prosecution (PP), mentioned above. All the detainees denied the charges against them, clearly stating the words "I am innocent and not guilty". Afterwards, the lawyers asked the judge to allow the detainees to express what they went through as the effects of ill-treatment are visible on their bodies. The judge asked each of the 19 detainees to state their suffering due to psychological and physical torture since their arrest more than two months ago. Every one of them briefly explained how he has been treated since his arrest from his home until this moment torture centers as well as during their presence in the public prosecution, which was late at night until dawn.

It is worth noting prior to their presence in the court, all detainees were threatened by members and officers of the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) not to disclose what happened to them during the investigation and not to change their statements, else they will re-languish torture again. It is feared that those young men had have been exposed to torture because of what they stated and what happened before the judge on the first day of the trial. The statements by the detainees are briefed as follows:

1) Hamed Ebrahim Fardan (Date of detention: 11/4/2008): "I am innocent and not guilty. I was severely beaten since the first night of my detention. My body was suspended for two continuous two during which I was beaten to the extent my left eye was damaged bleed over my clothes and now I can not see very well. I was stripped naked in full. They kept playing with my "penis", tied it with a rope and pulled it until I was fainted. Because of that, I then lost control of urination (involuntary urination) for more than a week. I was eye-blinded, and electrocuted in my chest and fingertips. (He left his t-shirt up to show the judge the effects of electrocution on his chest and other parts of his body). I was taken into a compartment, while blindfolded; I lost consciousness while inside it. I lost consciousness many times during torture. They threatened to bring my wife and assaulted her before my eyes. They took me to the PP three times, to force me to confess, I did not do".

2) Hussain Muhammad Ali Khatam (Date of detention 15/4/2008): "I am innocent and not guilty. I was handcuffed from behind, and suspended from a ceiling fan. I was beaten on my ribs, on my toes, as well as on the knees. I am still suffering from pain in the left knee. I was beaten on my cheeks and on the ears. I was taken to the hospital for treatment because of what happened to me. I was forced to stand on my feet for three consecutive days, during which I was blindfolded and handcuffed from the back".

3) Abdulkarim Hussain Makki Eid (Date of detention 15/4/2008):"I am innocent and not guilty. My body was suspended continuously for two days, during which I was beaten on the back and on the ribs. I was tortured by the "Falaqah"; flogging on the foot sole while being shackled. I was beaten on my fingertips and then cold water was tossed on my face. I was fainted. I was taken to the public prosecutor late at night, and I was asked there to sign the prepared confession. I refused. I was beaten at the office of Public Prosecution because I refused to sign".

"I was sent back to the CIB, where I was beaten on my leg using a hard (solid material= (wood, or metallic), it was so painful, I lost consciousness. Bruises on my wrists are still visible" (He raised his hands to show the judge those effects).

4) Sayed Hameed Adnan Omran (Date of detention 15/4/2008):"I am innocent and not guilty. My body was suspended for three consecutive days. They threaten to arrest my brothers - Sayed Ahmed and Sayed Jawad. They threatened to sexually assault my mother. They threatened to sexually assault me. My body was suspended, and while blindfolded, I was beaten. One of the torturers suspended himself to my body to add extra weight and induce more pain. While suspended, my body was struck so hard against the wall. I was continuously beaten on the back until I fainted. I am still suffering from dislocation of my right shoulder, because of the suspension. They took me to the hospital for treatment of my back. They put an incendiary material on my back, it was severely burning, the inflamed skin of my back was stuck on the shirt. When I ask them about it they told me that this is an "ointment" disinfectant. It was incendiary and very painful. I was threatened prior coming to the court not to change the confessions attributed to me".

5) Qasem Mohammed Khalil (Date of detention: 15/4/2008):"I am innocent and not guilty. They came to my grandfather's house to arrest me, before the incident of the militia jeep. I was not present at that time. My uncle contacted my father in the morning, and told him that they want me. I surrendered myself with my family and lawyer. My body was suspended for three consecutive days, during that I was beaten on the back (spine). I was also severely beaten on my toes. While suspended from the ceiling, my body was strongly struck on the wall more than once, during which I was blindfolded. I lost consciousness three times. Effects of handcuffs are still visible on my wrists".

"I was taken to the PP I was subjected to beating because I asked the prosecutor why I was been detained and told him "Ya long life. Why am I detained?". This was considered a mockery, and they told me donot say that. In front of the prosecutor, I requested the presence of a lawyer, the prosecutor rejected my request, and said to me: "there is no lawyer at this time". The judge asked Qasem: "When were you taken to the PP?". Qasem replied: "About 1:30 am (between one and two at dawn)".

6) Sayed Jawad Hameed Adnan (Date of detention: 11/4/2008): I am innocent and not guilty. My body was suspended for four consecutive days, during which I was subjected to beatings and prevented from water and food, going to the bathroom, and even praying. I was fainted several times. As a result, I had a dislocation in my right shoulder. I was taken to the coroner a month later from arrest. I am still unable to lift my hands. I am still in solitary confinement and blindfolded. I was threatened of sexual assault, I was beaten on my fingertips.

7) Sayed Sadiq Sayed Ibrahim Jumaa (Date of detention: 11/4/2008):"I am innocent and not guilty. Beating started in the car which took me from my house. My body was suspended for two consecutive days, during which I was deprived from my natural needs of drinking and feeding, to coerce me to sign a ready confession statement, I refused to sign. I was taken to the PP late in the night, I asked for a lawyer, my request was rejected by the prosecutor who said: "How could we bring a lawyer at this time? I was threatened in the prosecutor's office, and later beaten to compel to sign the ready-made statement which I rejected. I then was taken back to CIB, I was suspended again and beaten on my back (spine). My body was struck against the wall while hanging. I was electrocuted while blindfolded. I was repeatedly beaten on the back of the head. Now, I can not see well. I was threatened of sexual assault, then forced to sign a ready confession statement in the Public Prosecutions at dawn time".

8) Fadhel Abbas Ali Ahmed (Date of detention: 11/4/2008): "I am innocent. My body was suspended for two consecutive days, and I was brutally beaten throughout my body. My body was struck hard on the wall, while hanging from the hands. I lost conscience. I was tortured by the "flaqah". I was taken to the hospital and sample of blood was taken from me, and I do not know why. Blindfolded, I was taken to the scene of the incident and forced to act. The video-man ask me to repeat the act if it was not good enough."

9) Sayed Ahmed Hameed Adnan (Date of detention: 11/4/2008): "I am innocent and not guilty. I was forced to stand-up for three consecutive days during which I was hit on my legs, which were cooled with water so that I can walk. My body was suspended and beaten on my back and ribs. They took me to the Public Prosecution, I was not able to walk properly, I was limping. The interrogation officer yield at me and said "Straighten up or will take you back and subject you to beating". I was beaten in the prosecution's office to force me to walk without giving indication that I am limping. I made it up unwillingly when I entered the prosecution".

10) Hussein Abbas Ali Ahmed (Date of detention: 11/4/2008):"I am innocent. My body was suspended for three consecutive days. I was beaten on the head. I can not see well from my left eye (Hussein pointed to his eye before the judge). I requested to be taken to the hospital for medication, they refused to do so".

11) Habib Mohammed Habib (Date of detention: 15/4/2008): "I am innocent. My body was suspended for three consecutive days during which I was beaten on all parts of my body. I was deprived from water the toilet, and even the prayer. I asked for water, I was given a little of it (Habib indicated the amount before the judge), and the rest was thrown on my face, although I was still thirsty. At the Public Prosecution, I asked for water, the prosecutor did not respond to my request. I was not allowed even to conduct prayer".

12) Habib Ahmed Habib (Date of detention: 15/4/2008):"I am innocent. My body was suspended and beaten for two days, while blindfolded, until the handing rope was torn. I fell down on the ground. The interrogator was saying to me "If you do not confess, we will treat you like animal". He also said: "Your cousins are more courageous than you. They have all confessed while suspended". I was beaten on my toes and subjected to electrocution after breaking my fingernails. I was taken to place of the incident where I was forced to act. The video pictures taken for act could be seen and would clearly show how exhausted and swaying due to severe fatigue.

I was taken to the PP late in the night (around 1:30 am) wearing my clothes which had blood spots and signs of torture. I asked the prosecutor for a lawyer. He did not respond to me request. I was forced to sign the ready statement. My hands were shivering, so the prosecutor asked me to re-sign - and also took my finger stamp".

13) Fadhel Abbas Ashour (Date of detention: 10/4/2008): "I am innocent. They started beating me once they took me from home, in the way to the detention center. My body was suspended for three consecutive days during which I was beaten and deprived of basic rights"

14) Sadeq Jawad Al-Fardan (Date of detention: 11/4/2008): "I am innocent and not guilty. I was subjected to body suspension for three consecutive days. I was subjected to electrocution, and forced to confess, while blindfolded. I feel severe pain in my legs. I donot feel them due to severe torture. They took me to the place of the incident and forced to do acts."

15) Mohammed Makki Mansour (Date of detention: 10/4/2008): "I am innocent. Beatings started right after taken me for home on the way to the detention center while I was blindfolded. I was subjected to body suspension, beatings on my toes, and electrocution. This treatment did not cease until about a week ago from today. In the CIB, I was beaten on my gentiles and threatened of sexual assault. They said to me: "confess of the attack on the car, or else ..." I told them: "During the incident, I was in the sport club for training, and I have witnesses". They said: "No one will help you". I told them that " The coach and team board management are prepared to provide testimony". The interrogator said: "Take it off from your thoughts, you have another case!". I was forced to stand up continuously for three days, without allowing me to go to the bathroom.

The club board management sent a statement to the Public Prosecution reporting that I was in the club training during the incident. In the prosecution, the prosecutor shredded the letter and threw in on my face. He prepared his version of the testimony and said "this is what you will confess on, or we will take you back to where you were". The prosecutor also said: "If I am anger, I will get up for you, then I do not know my father or my mother."

16) Abdulla Juma Abdalla (Date of detention: 10/4/2008):"I am innocent. I was subjected to beatings and suspension for three consecutive days, prevented from water, the toilet, and even conducting my prayer. I was threatened with sexual assault if I donot confess of they want. I was sexually molested. I have fracture in my hand" (Abdulla pointed to his hand before the judge).

17) Hussein Ali Mohammed Dhaif (Date of detention: 15/4/2008): "I am innocent. I was subjected to suspension and to constant beatings to force me to confess. I wad deprived from water and eating. They brought me to the public prosecutions very late in the night and asked me to sign a ready statement. I asked for a lawyer, the prosecutor rejected my request.

18) Ebrahim Saleh Ebrahim Al-Shaikh (Date of detention: 11/4/2008): "I am innocent. I was detained incommunicado and blindfolded. I was subjected to body suspension for a long period and to severe beatings. As a result, I have a dislocation at the joint of my left shoulder. I'm still suffering because of it. (Do you want me to take off for my shirt to show you? Telling the judge)

19) Kumail Ahmad Ali Mahdi: (Date of detention: 10/4/2008):"I am innocent. I was detained in solitary confinement blindfolded and handcuffed. I was severely and brutally beaten me. I was threatened with rape (sexual assault). They suspended my body for a long period more than a day, during which I was beaten. They took me during the night, and there I was threatened and forced to sign papers which I do not know its contents.

This was the end of the statements of the detainees who were subjected to torture and suffering.

The lawyers team, through their coordinator Mr Ahmed Al-Orayyed, intervened and asked the judge to be include the statements of the detainees to be included in the record of the court case, documenting the physical and mental torture they endured during interrogation. In addition, a medical committee from the Ministry of Health is to examine them to come close to what they have been through of ill-treatment during their presence at the CIB. Because of the detainees revealed, Mr Ahmed Al-Orayyed requested an improvement of the status of the detainees who are still in solitary confinement. Mr Al-Orayyed requested the release of all the detainees considering any bail the Court wishes, on the grounds that the Public Prosecutor job had been exhausted, leaving nothing for the detainees to answer and their is no legal justification for them to stay in custody.

The judge ordered the inclusion of the detainees statements in the record of the court, the assignment of a delegation from the Public Prosecutor's Office to identify the conditions of the prisoners, the composition of a medical committee to examine the detainees, and releasing a copy of the case file for the lawyers. The judge, however, refused to release any of detainees on any ground and renewed their detention until the next session scheduled on July 6, 2008.

Time: 6:30 pm local time (3:30 GMT)

June 2, 2008