Bahrain: Bahrain:Abdul-Wahab Hussain
Case BHR 060300
The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Bahrain.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has received information from the Bahrain Human Rights Organisation (BHRO), a member of the network, regarding the arbitrary detention and complaint to the State Security Court of Abdul-Wahab Hussain who has been held since 22nd January 1996 without charges and reportedly subjected to ill-treatment during his detention.
According to the information received, on 29th February 2000, he appeared before the State Security Court in a hearing to consider a complaint filed by his defence lawyer. The complaint was based on the fact that Mr. Hussain has been in detention for more than three years which is the maximum period of administrative detention affirmed in the 1974 State Security Act. The hearing was postponed until 14th March 2000.
Furthermore, according to the information received, earlier, Mr. Hussain was put under pressure by three SIS officers, Adel Flaifel and two British officers, to sign a statement apologizing for his actions and undertaking not to carry out acts calling for political reform, or incite others to do so, and not to partake in any public speaking, including religious sermons. If this was signed he would be pardoned by the Amir. However, Mr. Abdul-Wahab Hussain refused to sign the pre-prepared statement. He is currently in detention in AlQla’ prison.
Abdul-Wahab Hussain, a prominent Shi’a leader and religious figure, was arrested on 22nd January 1996, along with 7 others. According to the information received, he and several others, including the Sheikh Al-Jamri who has since received a pardon (he was pardoned on July 8th 1999, a day after the State Security Court sentenced him to 10 years in prison and after certain conditions were imposed on him, similar to those the SIS authorities are currently trying to impose on Mr. Hussain and the other five persons), had entered into discussions with the Bahraini authorities hoping to resolve the political crisis through political and peaceful means. Among his actions he signed a petition calling for the restoration of the first elected parliament which was dissolved in 1975. It is further reported that the other five of the opposition leaders who were arrested in January 1996 at the same time as Abdul-Wahab Hussain remain in prison without charge or trial. These are Hasan Sultan, Ali Ashur, Hussain al-Dahi, Hasan Mishama’a, and Sayyid Ibrahim Adnan al-Alwai.
The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned by the prolonged detention of Abdul-Wahab Hussain. Furthermore, it is disturbed by the fact that this is a blatant violation of the 1974 State Security Law, which allows for a maximum administrative detention of three years, a law which in itself falls short of International standards for a fair trial. OMCT is preoccupied by the fact that there is no guarantee to a fair and impartial trial from the State Security Court. Also, their detention is in direct contradiction with Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”
Please write to the Bahrain authorities urging that they :
i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the aforementioned persons held in detention, and order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges or, if such charges exist, bring them before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;
ii. carry out a full and impartial investigation into this alleged arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment and alleged threats to Abdul-Wahab Hussain, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;
iii. put an immediate end to the use of arbitrary detention of people by the police and abrogate 1974 State Security Law and all national laws which are not in compliance with international human rights standards.
iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
His Highness Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa, Office of His Highness the Amir, P.O. Box 555, The Amiri
Court, Rifa’a Palace, Bahrain. Fax : + 973 668884. Telex : 8666 Qasar BN; 8500 Qasar BN
His Excellency Al-Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister, P.O. Box 1000, al-Manama, Bahrain.
Telex : 9336 PROM BN or 7889 PMPO BN. FAX: + 973 533033.
His Excellency Al-Shaikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior, P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain. Fax : + 973 276765 or 290526 or 754303. Telex : 9572 PSMKT BN OR 8333 ALAMAN BN
Geneva, 6th March 2000
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.