17 Dec 2012

The Bahrain Center for Human rights expresses grave concern over the ill-treatment of Activist Mohamed Al-Tal who is being held in solitary confinement for more than 12 days according to information received by the Center. Activist Mohamed Al-Tal has been in detention since 14 Oct 2012 when he was summoned for interrogation on the charge of “participating in illegal gathering” in reference to the Friday protest in Manama (12 October 2012) titled “Self determination”. He was held in the Dry Dock detention center until the beginning of Dec 2012 when several prisoners were subjected to abuses and attacks following the formation of a coalition of Prisoners of Conscience (see BCHR report here bahrainrights.org/en/node/5539). Al-Tal was then moved to the West Riffa police station where he was put in solitary confinement according to his lawyer, Mr Mohamed Al-Marzooq. He was not informed of the reason for this transfer or why he is being held in solitary confinement.

Al-Tal has been previously detained for several weeks following his arrest from a previous protest in Manama. He is already standing trial in a different case on similar charges in which he is accused of participating in illegal gathering in Manama. The next hearing of his trial will be on 14 Jan 2013.

His lawyer has requested the release of Al-Tal while guaranteeing his place of residency to avoid losing his job as a teacher, and to allow him to attend his medical appointments.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights believes that the placement of Al-Tal in solitary confinement is in violation with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, article 30 “(1) No prisoner shall be punished except in accordance with the terms of such law or regulation, .. (2) No prisoner shall be punished unless he has been informed of the offence alleged against him and given a proper opportunity of presenting his defence. The competent authority shall conduct a thorough examination of the case.” And article 32. “(1) Punishment by close confinement .. shall never be inflicted unless the medical officer has examined the prisoner and certified in writing that he is fit to sustain it.”

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights believes that activist Mohamed Al-Tal is targeted because of his peaceful exercise of freedom of assembly in accordance with the universal declaration for human rights.

Based on the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the government of Bahrain to immediately put an end to the solitary confinement of Mohamed Al-Tal. The BCHR also calls for Al-Tal’s immediate release and dropping of all trumped up charges against him and all other detainees who are being held for exercising their freedom of assembly.