17 November 2012

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses grave concern over the physical and mental well-being of the prisoner of conscience, Ayman Abdulshaheed. AbdulShaheed suffers from Hemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder that is life threatening if subjected to physical harm or injuries. Despite his illness, he was allegedly beaten violently during his arrest and interrogation. His mental health deteriorated rapidly while he was in custody and he has been in the psychiatric hospital for more than two months now. With no regard to his health and the evidence of his innocence presented by his lawyer to the authorities, Ayman is still kept in detention at the psychiatric ward.

Ayman’s two-year old daughter pulling her father’s handcuffs

Ayman Abdulshaheed, a father of a two-year old girl, was arrested on 11 June 2012. He told the BCHR that masked men broke in his apartment at 3 am and beat him violently in front of his wife and daughter. His lawyer, Hussain Aqeel, said that Ayman is accused of “illegal gathering, rioting, arson and attempted murder” [1] although there is no evidence convicting him. In contrary, there are photos, videos and witnesses proving that Ayman was not at or near the crime scene at the time of the incident; however, they were ignored by the public prosecution, according to Hussain Aqeel. He was ordered to 60 days in detention which was extended more than once.

Ayman Abdulshaheed’s medical report

Ayman is suffering from a blood disease, Hemophilia, and his doctor stated in a medical report that he could suffer from severe bleeding when injured or physically harmed which could put his life at serious risk. Despite that he was allegedly tortured by officer Isa Al Majali, to force him into confession. According to his family their son’s torture resulted in bleeding so he was taken to Salmaniya Hospital and kept there for 35 days. His family added that after Ayman’s mental health deterioration, his doctor sought out psychiatrist consultation which diagnosed his condition as depression. He was then transferred to the Psychiatric hospital. Ayman’s lawyers requested medical report on his mental condition, however, his request was denied by the public prosecution reportedly because he was transferred from the hospital not by a court order.

Holding Ayman in detention despite his innocence and his serious health condition is a direct violation of a number of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights articles, including, “Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishments”, “Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” and “Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law”.

Therefore, the BCHR calls upon Bahrain’s alleys, the US, the UK and other governments and the UN to put pressure on the Bahraini regime to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience. 2. Immediately halt the use of arbitrary arrest and attacks on civilians. 3. Hold accountable all those who have taken part, overseen, ordered and were able to but did not put a stop to the ongoing human rights violations. Accountability should start with those in high positions in government. 4. Halt the use of all forms of torture inside police stations. 5. Allow all people access to medical treatment without fear of torture and arrest.

[1] Alwasatnews.com