Bahrain: Hussein Al-Durazi a Victim of Abuse upon Arrest, Interrogation and even while being Remanded to Custody
Urgent Appeal to Stop the Violations Practiced by Officers inside Prison
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its concern for the information received about beating and insulting the detainees on remand in the “Dry Dock” prison at an earlier time this month, and putting them in solitary confinement for five days. The information received indicates that the detainees Hussein Ali Al-Durazi and Jaffar Al-Alawi have been subjected to severe beating and insults by the officer Ahmed Al-Ammadi before being transferred to solitary confinement.
One of the detainees, who is Hussein Ali Marzooq Al-Durazi had been arrested on 13 June 2013 after pursuing the car driving him by civilian teams led by the officer Turki Al-Majid – on of those involved in the human rights violations in Bahrain; the BCHR had posted his card among the “Wanted for Justice” campaign. Activists had posted to the social network Twitter a video showing the arrest of Al-Durazi and one of his friends after the Forces that were following them collided with their car. Al-Durazi and his friend were subjected to beating and brutal treatment upon arrest in front of the people of Shakhoora village. Another video was posted which shows the marks of the collision of the civilian car with Al-Durazi and his friend’s car before their arrest.
Al-Durazi informed the BCHR that after his arrest he was taken directly to the Criminal Investigation Department where he was blindfolded, handcuffed from the back and tortured, as well as being forced to stand for long periods of time. He was punched in the face and in sensitive areas, as well as threatening him with rape and continuing to torture him if he denied the charges against him. Among the people who tortured him, according to his sayings, was the officer Turki Al-Majid who told him, “we had imprisoned you before and we promised to imprison you again as soon as you are released so that you can spend three years, so do you agree?” Al-Durazi was forced to agree by nodding his head so that they can stop the torture. He also stated that the Dry Dock prison refused to treat his injuries and pain.
Al-Durazi is facing charges of assaulting a police patrol and possession of Molotov and assembling. The Public Prosecution did not submit any substantial evidence for these charges. The next hearing for his trial will be on 7 January 2014 in order for the prosecution witnesses to attend, who are affiliated with the Ministry of Interior.
Worth mentioning, Hussein Al-Durazi is an independent photographer who had been arrested for a whole year in 2010 as a punishment for practicing his legitimate right in exchanging and posting information through media networks prisonas indicated by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
This is not the first time that detainees at the Dry Dock prison are subjected to assault amid a deafening silence by the official bodies, who always announce that the situation in the prisons of Bahrain is stable and takes into account Bahrain’s obligations in maintaining human rights. The police forces had assaulted the political prisoners and prisoners of consciousness detained in ward 10 in August 2013, and it injured many of them as confirmed by the reports received from the Dry Dock prison at that time.
The BCHR believes that the authorities in Bahrain are still targeting citizens and are practicing against them the most gruesome violations by arresting and torturing them to force them to confess, as well as defaming them and bringing them forth to a politicized judicial body that lacks the most basic fundamentals of justice, especially that the judges are appointed by the country’s ruler in person, not to mention that some of them are members of the ruling family, on top of them the Minister of Justice. The BCHR had confirmed in previous reports the involvement of the Public Prosecution in the violations, systematic torture and policy of impunity that contributed in increasing the number of victims since the kickoff of the 14 February revolution until this day.
Based on all the above, the BCHR calls on the US, UK, UN and all the Authority’s close allies and relevant international organizations to:
- Stop supporting the Authority in Bahrain in its suppression of people’s rights;
- Put pressure on the Authority in Bahrain to take into account and maintain human rights and stop the violations, and adhere to the treaties and conventions it had endorsed and signed.
It also calls on the Authority in Bahrain to:
- Unconditionally release political prisoners and prisoners of consciousness;
- Immediately stop practicing the systematic torture as a tool to extract confessions;
- Stop fabricating charges and cases against detainees and activists in order to punish them for their activity;
- Investigate the torture and coercion allegations filed by the detainees against the members of the security apparatuses and Public Prosecution;
- Adhere to the international treaties and conventions endorsed and signed by Bahrain and that urge the maintenance of human rights;
- Hold accountable all those involved in the violations and torture whether by supervision and / or order, and question them, especially the higher ranking personnel.