From the torture rooms in prisons to the intensive care unit in the Salmaneyya Medical Center (SMC); the suffering of the victim and his family continued as his only crime he is a Shiite cleric

Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls the authorities to investigate, treat and rehabilitate the victim; and punish the perpetrators in the military and security forces immediately

Sayyed Hussain Al Quraifi before and after torture

3 October 2011

Bahrain Center for Human Rights received more information and has documented exposure of many of the detainees to the systematic torture, whether in detention centers or at checkpoints that spread during emergency period since mid-March. This was after a wave of brutal repression and sectarian targeting of Shiite on their sect identity initiated by the Bahraini authorities supported later by Saudi troops from expiatory-ideological backgrounds to the Shiite Muslims, in order to suppress the democracy and human rights. Such information of torture has been reported also about the wounded and injured demonstrators in the corridors of SMC since the army and security forces occupied it up until the time of writing this report.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its deep concern on the life of the tortured victim, Sayyed Hussain Alguraifi, a religious scholar belongs to the Shiite sect who was arbitrarily arrested on 16 March in one of the checkpoints. He remained under torture until his health deteriorated to be transferred from the torture room to SMC in where he was,after a short period, taken to the intensive care unit as he completely was unable to move. His family tried to find him or to know his fate after his enforced disappearance, but they did not succeed in that as a result of control of the army and security services on SMC. They knew later that Sayyed Hussain was in the care unit after his arrest and torture in the interrogation rooms. He was given him a fake name (Hussain Alawami) and he was registered in the health records with temporary civil personal number.

According to the witnesses who have been arrested from the same checkpoint where Sayyed Hussain was arrested, near Sana compound in the area of Manama close to Castle police station (headquarters of the Ministry of Interior) and SMC; the victim was immediately severely beaten with sharp sticks and subjected to kicks with by a group of the military men in charge of that checkpoint. Also, they smashed his car completely and confiscated his identity papers, passports of his four sons and his ATM card. They insulted him verbally and they were proud that they were beating a Shiite cleric considering it as a big prize for them.The army and security forces have been targeting the Shiite at the checkpoints all the time on the basis of their sect identity.

This sectarian politics in torturing Shiites are in parallel with sectarian discrimination by the ruling regime in Bahrain which manifested in the sectarian abuse campaigns at checkpoints. That was systemically supported by the local official media that has spread programs especially on Bahrain TV in explicit and public sectarian incitement against Shiites the majority of the population. Therefore, Sayyed Hussain paid the tax to be Shiite by losing his ability to move as his only crime was to be Shiite cleric. In addition to the checkpoints, the role of security services is based also on sectarian background as Shiite is not allowed to work there. Sayyed Hussain was handed to the security services that continued the investigation with him in Hoora police station and tortured him. Thus, his health deteriorated and then he was taken to the hospital of the Ministry of the Interior to receive treatment. Despite receiving treatment, on the next day the interrogation sessions took place with Sayyed accompanied with torture, so his health became critical to be transferred later to SMC on March 17, 2011.

Sayyed Hussain Alguraifi remained in the SMC and entered the maximum care ward - ward 52 - where his condition was very critical and was unconscious. On March,22nd , a security guard was put at the door of the wing where the victim was in order to prevent his family from visiting him. Sayyed remained in that wing until April 10, 2011.

After April 10th, he has been moved to an unknown place and his family was unable to find him, despite their attempts to contact Salmaniya hospital and military hospital, which denied his existence. Also, his family tried to make a report in the Exhibition police station but they were not taking it seriously. After about three months, his family received a call on June 27, 2011 from Salmaniya to visit him in wing 63 and, unfortunately, his health condition was very bad where he did not even have the ability to speak. He looked thin with pale body.

On July 15, 2011, Mr.Khaled, a member of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry set up by King visited Al Guraifi in the hospital. At that time, he was still under the fatigue. His family was on contact with the Commission on the security posture of their father and tight security procedures to visit him. So they were told that he had been released and transferred to another ward in the hospital, but hospital administration tried to convince the family to take him out of the hospital, despite his bad condition.

In order to save his life, his family addressed a letter to the Minister of Human Rights in Bahrain, Fatima Al Balushi, to take Sayyed Hussain abroad for treatment, but they didn't get response until the time of the writing of this report. The minister Fatima Al Balushi is accused of being behind many of the violations of media fabrications against the doctors who treated wounded in the peaceful protests. The minister has ideological background which follow the extremists religious Sunnis.

Sayyed Hussain, is still lying in SMC, suffering from partial paralysis due to severe beating, psychological and physical torture, the inability to speak and problems in the vocal cords. Bahrain Center for Human Rights believes that what happened with Sayyed Hussain is an example of sufferings of hundreds of Bahrainis from bodily harms, deteriorated health due to the arrest and torture. Also, they suffer from the absence of appropriate treatment in light of the deteriorating situation in SMC regard the control of the army and security forces as well as after the detention of medical staff, and the systematic discrimination against the Shiite community, especially in light of the targeting of hospitals located in the Shia areas in particular.

Sayyed Hussain Al Quraifi’s medical report

Bahrain Center Human Rights has documented information on the torture and ill-treatment against the citizens at checkpoints because of their religious affiliation, including the involvement of members of the ruling family in the torture of citizens in those points. However, the authorities have met these reports with ignorance although these points are still scattered in most of the Shiite villages, and continue to harass the citizens even after months of lifting the state of national safety.

Based on the foregoing facts, the Bahrain Human Rights Center calls for the following:

- The immediate and impartial investigation into the case and bring the involved perpetrators to justice. - Ensure that the Bahraini authorities treat and rehabilitate victim of torture, Sayyed Hussain Alguraifi. - Independent and impartial investigation of all forms of torture, ill-treatment and humiliation against hundreds of citizens at checkpoints that are still prevalent in the country. - The lifting of all forms of security control of the SMC and uncover the circumstances of the wounded or tortured detainees in the hospital, especially what happened at Ward 62. - Authorities' commitment to international covenants of human rights and to stop violations immediately. - Stop the systematic torture and degrading treatment immediately and commit to the treaty against torture and degrading forms of treatment.