The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its deep concern regarding the ongoing arbitrary arrest campaigns carried out by the Bahraini authorities, which are conducted without arrest warrants or any legal basis. The BCHR is particularly concerned about the use of torture, threats, and withholding medical treatment as a means to extract confessions.

On the 19th of December 2012, security forces arrested Younes Ali Hadher, a 22 year-old suffering from epilepsy, while he was at a government office in Manama to renew his passport. He was severely tortured after his arrest, and charged with several crimes including attempted murder and illegal gathering; Hadher denies the charges. The next day he was presented to the Public Prosecution in the presence of two lawyers, where he was interrogated on the charge of arson. The lawyers stated that he was attending his football training at Aletefaq club when the alleged crime took place, but the Public Prosecutor detained him for 45 days pending investigation. He was then transferred to Dry Dock prison, ward 10. His lawyers made several attempts to release him, but were not successful, despite bringing attention to his poor health condition.

Younes Hadher has been presented before the judge several times and had his detention renewed. His family has tried to have him released because of his serious epileptic condition and the harassment he faces by the Dry Dock Prison officials, who are denying him his medication and access to the hospital when his condition worsens. As a result of the inadequate healthcare he has received, Hadher’s vision has weakened, and his general condition has deteriorated. According to his family, the pain that he is suffering from is so strong that he is unable to stand during family visits.

Hadher’s condition has worsened considerably, and recently he fell unconscious in the prison facility. He was transferred to the military hospital where several tests were conducted and he was given an IV drip. When his family learned that he was in the hospital, his brother tried to visit him on the evening of the same day. However, he was informed that Hadher had already returned back to the prison.

Hadher fell unconscious again on Tuesday the 8th of October, 2013, and was transferred to Salmaniya Hospital. His brother met him at the hospital and noted that Hadher looked deeply exhausted, pale, and generally in very poor health. His brother stated that Hadher was unable to walk without assistance and even had difficulty raising his head; he therefore therefore kept his head down during his brother’s entire visit at the hospital.

Hadher told his brother that he is suffering from constant acroparesthesia in his legs and a loss of sensation them. He also has blurred vison and is beginning to have double vision. In spite of his extremely poor health, he has been returned to the prison.

    

Hadher’s brother staged a sit-in last week in front of the Dry Dock prison for four consecutive days, demanding the release of his brother. His brother is deeply concerned for Younes’s life if he remains in prison and is continually denied adequate medical treatment. His brother stated that Hadher was taken to the Salmaniya hospital where tests were conducted, but he was then returned to prison.

Hadher has contacted his family and told them that his health continues to deteriorate, and there is no improvement in his condition. On Thursday the 17th of October, there was a scheduled family visitation, but Hadher was unable to attend due to his health. Hadher has a court hearing scheduled for Sunday the 20th of October.

Based on the above information, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls for the following:

  • The immediate and unconditional release of Younes Hadher and all political prisoners in Bahrain.
  • An end to arbitrary and illegal arrests without a judicial order.
  • To provide the necessary treatment for Younis Hadher immediately and for all prisoners that requires medical attention in the Bahraini prisons.
  • The immediate cessation of torture as a policy to extract confessions, and to allow the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Bahrain.
  • An end to the policy of impunity, and to hold accountable those responsible for the violations against detainees, those who protect government employees who are responsible for violations and to bring them to justice - including officials in the Public Prosecution and those holding senior positions in the government.