Photo: Taleb Ali, pictured second from right, with other men charged in his case.

March 28th, 2013

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its deepest concern over the biased judicial system in Bahrain that is used by the authorities as a reprisal tool against dissidents who bring attention to human rights abuses. Taleb Ali has been forbidden from attending future sessions of his own trial because he attempted to draw attention to the torture he has been subjected to by government officials during a court session on March 26th.

In November 2012, an undeclared martial law was imposed on Mahazza village in Sitra. Many checkpoints were established by the security forces and civilian militias; armored vehicles were deployed at the village's main entrances. During the days of siege, the BCHR documented nearly 100 house raids and approximately 25 arrests. (Read more about the Mahazza siege: http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/5536)

Taleb Ali was among those kidnapped during the Mahazza siege, on 14 November 2012. His family did not know his whereabouts at the time, and only later they discovered that he was arrested from his car and taken for investigation. Taleb, like hundreds of other political prisoners, was subjected to physical and psychological torture. (Read more about the case here: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5563

In his latest court hearing, on March 26th, Taleb informed the judge that he was tortured in the investigation building and in the public prosecution office, and was forced into signing a confession, which resulted in his transfer to the BDF hospital. Taleb stated that Ahmed Bucheeri, of the public prosecution, threatened to have him killed and threw an ash tray at him when Taleb refused to confess on the false charges. He said that he incident took place in Fahad Al-Buaineen's office on the 7th floor. In his court hearing, Taleb demanded and investigation, and protection from his torturers who told him that no lawyer can help him and that he shouldn't rely on the court as the verdict is determined by the public prosecutors, and not the judge. As a result, the judge in the case held Taleb in contempt of court and forbid him of attending future session.[1]

Both Taleb Ali and Sayed Ahmed Al-Majed stand accused of establishing a terrorist cell, amongst other charges. Seven others are charged with joining the cell. All defendants denied all charges and their lawyers presented evidence and witnesses in support of their innocence. Their next court session is scheduled for April 17th. [2]

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to:

1. Release all political prisoners and drop all trumped up charges against them.

2. Hold all those responsible for torture and ill-treatment of prisoners responsible

3. Reform the judicial system so that it is up to international standards of fair and independent trials.

[1] Lawyer Zainab Abdulaziz's twitter account: https://twitter.com/ZaInab_Law_AziZ [2] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3854/news/read/755538