Bahrain: Conditional release of Mr. Hussain Jawad
001 / 0215 / OBS 011.3
Release / Judicial
May 22, 2015
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint
programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), as received new information and requests
your urgent intervention in the following situation in Bahrain.
Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the conditional release
of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini
Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR).
to the information received, on May 19, 2015, the 4th Lower Criminal
Court ordered the release from prison with the guarantee of his place of
residence of Mr. Jawad, who had been imprisoned since February 16, 2015. This
decision follows three consecutive failures of the witnesses to attend the
hearings, therefore reporting Mr. Jawad's case.
the judicial harassment of Mr. Jawad is not terminated and he will appear
before court on May 29, 2015 on charges of “collecting funds from Bahrain and
abroad without authorisation” (see background information).
Furthermore, in a separate case, Mr. Jawad is prosecuted for “criticising
government institutions”, “insulting the flag and emblem of the country”,
“attempting to disrupt public security” and “illegal gathering” (see background
information). Next hearing in this case is schedule on November 4, 2015.
Observatory calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately and
unconditionally drop all charges against Mr. Jawad, as he is targeted solely
for his legitimate human rights activities.
although Mr. Jawad's lawyers' request to include the torture complaint into the
list of evidence had been accepted, on April 7, 2015, the 4th Lower
Criminal Court did not review the complaint of torture, arguing that the
investigation failed to identify the perpetrators. Therefore, the complaint has
not been formally included into the list of evidence yet (see background
Observatory is extremely concerned by the allegations of ill-treatment and
torture during detention, and urges the authorities to always guarantee the
physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Jawad, as well as to start
immediate and effective investigations into these allegations.
Observatory more generally urges the Bahraini authorities to put an end to all
acts of harassment – both at judicial and physical levels – against Mr. Jawad,
and to comply with relevant international human rights standards and
instruments, in particular the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Torture,
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the UN
Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on
December 9, 1998.
February 16, 2015, Mr. Hussain Jawad was arrested by masked police officers in
plain clothes, who searched his house and confiscated his passport and mobile
phone. Mr. Jawad was not informed about the reason of his arrest. After 10
hours of incommunicado detention, Mr. Jawad managed to call his wife and inform
her that he was detained in the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). He
also informed her that he was ill-treated in detention.
February 18, Mr. Jawad was taken to the Public Prosecution without his lawyer
or family being informed. The Public Prosecution ordered the release of Mr.
Jawad pending trial on charges of “illegal gathering” and “rioting”. However,
until the time of writing, Mr. Jawad remains held at the CID.
February 21, Mr. Jawad appeared before the Public Prosecution for another case
against him. He appeared to have suffered from physical and psychological
torture and ill-treatment. He was allegedly beaten, threatened with death, and
threatened that his wife would be harmed. He was also reportedly blind-folded,
deprived of sleep and drinking water, and forced to constantly stand. He was
also forced to listen to the screams of other inmates who appeared to have been
electrically shocked, in order to scare him into signing confessions. His hands
appeared to be swollen and bruised as a result of the hand-cuffs that were not
removed since his arrest.
was also denied to go to the bathroom, and was beaten when he requested to do
so. He was denied contact with his family and lawyer, and only managed to call
his wife twice. When he informed her in the first call that he was hurt, he
suffered retaliation. He was also sexually harassed where he was stripped naked
the interrogation at the Public Prosecution, Mr. Jawad appeared to be not fully
conscious, hallucinating and falling asleep. His clothes were covered with
urine. He was forced to sign confessions obtained under torture. He is now
facing new charges based on these confessions of “collecting funds from Bahrain
and abroad to support vandalising groups”. The Prosecution then ordered him
seven days detention pending investigation.
February 23, Mr. Jawad was brought to the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for
interrogation about the complaint filed by his lawyers for allegations of
torture. On March 11, Mr. Jawad's wife, Asma Darwish, was summoned to testify
before the SIU as a witness.
March 17, 2015, the 4th Lower Criminal Court held a hearing in the
case against Mr. Jawad and two other defendants on charges of “collecting funds
from Bahrain and abroad without authorisation". Mr. Jawad told the Court
that he is a human rights defender and that he was tortured in order to sign
Mr. Jawad's lawyer requested his release and the inclusion of the torture
complaint he filed into the list of evidence.
Hussain Jawad was previously arrested on November 23, 2013, and was
interrogated about a speech he gave at a protest rally in 2013. He was released
on bail on January 9, 2014, and remains charged with “criticising government institutions”,
“insulting the flag and emblem of the country”, “attempting to disrupt public
security” and “illegal gathering”.
The Observatory urges the authorities of Bahrain to:
and unconditionally drop all charges against Mr. Jawad, as he is targeted
solely for his legitimate human rights activities;
- Guarantee the
physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Hussain Jawad and all human
rights defenders in Bahrain;
- Carry out an
independent and effective investigation into the allegations of torture
and ill-treatment against Mr. Hussain Jawad, in order to identify all
those responsible and apply them the sanctions provided by law;
- Put an end
to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, and drop all
charges against Mr. Hussain Jawad as well as against all human rights
defenders in Bahrain;
- Conform in
any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights
Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General
Assembly, in particular:
- its Article 1, which
states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection
and realization of human rights and fundamental
freedoms at the national and international levels” ;
6 (c) which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in
association with others to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the
observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public
attention to those matters” ;
Article 12.2 which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to
ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually
and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de
facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action
as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in
the present Declaration”.
vi. Ensure in all
circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance
with international human rights standards and international instruments
ratified by Bahrain.
Cheikh Hamad bin Issa AL KHALIFA, King of
Bahrain, Fax : +973 176 64 587
Cheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad AL KHALIFA,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tel : +973 172 27 555 ; Fax : 00973 17 21 05 75 ; email@example.com
Cheikh Khalid bin Ali AL KHALIFA, Minister
of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Tel : +973 175 133 00 ; Fax : +973 175 31 284
Lt. Gen. Cheikh Rashed bin Abdulla AL
KHALIFA, Minister of Interior, Tel : +973 17572222 and +973 17390000. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United
Nations in Geneva, 1 chemin Jacques-Attenville, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, CP 39,
1292 Chambésy, Switzerland. Fax : + 41 22 758 96 50. Email : email@example.com
H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Yousif Aldoseri,
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Belgium, Embassy of the
Kingdom of Bahrain, Avenue Louise 250, 1050 Brussels, Belgium ; Fax : 0032 (0)
26472274 ; E-mail : Brussels.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to diplomatic representations
of Bahrain in your respective countries.
Unofficial translation : “I am a human rights defender and I dreamt of a
country where human rights defenders in it are respected. I was beaten,
punched, kicked and tortured. I was prevented from sleeping. I was threatened
to be raped. I was sexually harassed. I don't know why I am still held behind
bars. I call upon you to release me. I didn't commit any crime and those
confessions in front of you were all taken under torture. I have given my
testimony to the Special Investigation Unit of the Public Prosecution about all
of that in details. I am the Chairman of the European Bahraini Organisation for
Human Rights, and I have not committed any crime”.