Monday, 23 February 2015
Sunday, 22 February 2015
URGENT CALL: SAVE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER MR. HUSSAIN JAWAD – ANOTHER VICTIM OF TORTURE IN 2015
Human Rights Activist Hussain Jawad (Chairman of the European – Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights, EBOHR) was transferred at 8:00am on Saturday, February 21, 2015 to the Public Prosecution (PP) in the capital Manama. He appeared before the Public Prosecutor after 2:00pm.
This comes after his arrest in a night raid on February 16, 2015. Masked police officers in plain clothes raided and searched his home, confiscated his mobile phone and passport, took and then held him at the notorious Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID).
Yesterday, February 21, 2015 at the Public Prosecution, Mr. Jawad appeared and was observed to be in very bad physical condition. He looked exhausted as a consequence of physical and psychological torture, and sustained ill treatment. This indicated to his lawyers that Mr. Jawad was subjected to multiple forms of torture, including insults, death threats and threats against his wife.
He was prevented from sleeping and drinking water throughout the period of his detention, and was forced tostand. He was confined in a very narrow cell and exposed to freezing temperatures to elicit the physical experience ofsevere chill and extreme discomfort. In addition, he was forced to listen to other detainees being tortured by electric shock, as a technique to instil fear in him and to terrorise him into the confession of false charges. He was blind folded for the entire duration of his arbitrary arrest and his hands were swollen from being tightly handcuffed continuously since his abduction.
It is important to mention that Mr. Jawad was prevented from using lavatory facilities throughout the period of his detention. Every time he requested to use a toilet he was severely beaten, kicked and slapped, to the point that he had no choice but to wet his clothes. These same clothes he has worn since the moment of the arrest. He was unable to identify several individuals who perpetrated this abuse as he was blindfolded throughout this time, and was interrogated continually for more than 12 hours each day, being verbally abused, threatened and beaten during this interrogation.
Mr. Jawad was prevented from communicating with his family and lawyer in an attempt to cut him off from the outside world. The psychological cruelty extended to being blindfolded continuously for the duration, thus he was oblivious to the passing of the hours or days during his detention, and has become painfully light sensitive.
He was told that they, CID, had fabricated news to reachpeople outside, and in the international community, that he was in the Intensive Care Unit in Hospital. He was informed that they could now torture him to death and that they would say that he had an existing heart problem, and that during his detention that he happened to pass away. He was very afraid that if he died that they would not admit it was under torture,but that they could make it appear as if he had passed awayfrom natural causes while in ICU. He had marks of torture on his body to which a medical cream was applied every night to make the evidence fade.
During this entire period, Mr. Jawad was permitted to call his wife only twice, having been warned and threatened in advance not to mention any information regarding his welfare.The first call lasted only a few seconds, they said hello and she straightaway asked “Were you hurt?” he replied “Yes” and the phone line went dead immediately. After the call he was beaten badly in reprisal for this disclosure. His second call tohis family has been described as obviously ‘scripted’ He was warned to speak normally and ‘act fine’. He reportedly said “I am fine, I went to the Public Prosecutor, and I will call you.”
Mr. Jawad was seen at the Public Prosecutor in an abnormallyunstable and inhuman condition. He was staggering, hallucinating and not fully conscious. His clothes remainedunchanged for six consecutive days and were filthy because of the forced urination of himself and the severity of his abuse.
In addition, Mr. Jawad was sexually assaulted at CID, he was stripped fully naked while blindfolded, and handcuffed from behind, and by a woman he was not able to see. She handled and abusively interfered with his genitals in a humiliating and demeaning way, and later when she finished, she mocked him, saying that although she wanted to sexually assault himfurther that she wouldn’t do it anymore because he hadurinated on himself and that he stank.
Mr. Jawad was falling asleep intermittently during the hearingat the Public Prosecutors office because of the fatigue associated with forced sleep deprivation. Mr. Jawads lawyers stated that he appeared to be in an unstable mental condition; they were shocked by this, particularly as they are familiar with his characteristic determination and devoted human rights activity both in Bahrain and abroad.
Mr. Jawad was forced to confess and sign admissions of false charges brought against him while enduring torture inside the CID, he was subsequently threatened with being returned to CID and of further, more aggressive torture, if he tried to deny his ‘confessions’ at the Public Prosecution hearing.
Mr. Jawad was ordered to be released from custody on February 18, 2015 by the Public Prosecution after fabricatedcharges were brought against him relating to rioting and possession of Molotov cocktails, he denied these allegations during the investigation. However, he remained incommunicado in custody, and was further tortured to‘reveal’ additional ‘new’ confessions on fictitious charges related to “collecting money from Bahrain and abroad to aid and abet saboteurs.”
The Public Prosecution instructed that he be retaken intocustody pending investigation. Even though he was clearly in an unstable condition and had obviously been tortured to elicit confessions on fabricated charges.
The European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR) strongly condemns the maltreatment and torture of Mr. Hussain Jawad while held in an official governmentinstitution. Although the government of Bahrain remains silent and the culture of impunity prevails, these acts of torture cannot be ignored, nor can the officials responsibleremain exempt from judicial accountability.
EBOHR calls upon all human rights groups and the United Nations Human Rights bodies to exert pressure on the authorities in Bahrain to unconditionally and immediately release Mr. Hussain Jawad.
EBOHR calls the authorities in Bahrain to drop all charges against human rights activist Mr. Hussain Jawad as the confessions were extracted under torturer.
EBOHR calls the authorities in Bahrain to initiate an investigation into the allegations of torture that Mr. Hussain Jawad was subjected too.
EBOHR urges the government of Bahrain to respectinternational human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
EBOHR calls on the allies of Bahrain: the United States, the United Kingdom and the European States to pressure the government of Bahrain to stop targeting human rights defenders and to allow human rights activists to practise their work in safety.