Amnesty Int'l: Bahrain: student arrested, tortured: Ahmad Mshaima’
UA: 5/14 Index: MDE 11/003/2014 Bahrain Date: 8 January 2014
Ahmad Mshaima’, the son of one of the 13 jailed opposition activists, was arrested on 28 December on the Bahrain border with Saudi Arabia. He is accused of participating in demonstrations in February 2013. The Public Prosecution ordered his detention for 30 days pending investigation.
Ahmad Mshaima’, a 20-year-old civil engineering student, was arrested on 28 December at Bahrain’s border with Saudi Arabia. Ahmad Mshaima’, who suffers from Blount's disease, a deformity of the lower legs, was taken to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) in the capital, Manama, where he was beaten, kicked in the legs, forced to insult his father and his religion, and coerced into signing documents. He was accused of participating in demonstrations in Jid Hafs, just outside Manama, which marked the second anniversary of the Bahraini uprising on 14 February 2013. He appeared with his lawyer on 30 December before the Public Prosecution, who ordered his detention for 30 days pending investigation. He was then transferred to the Dry Dock Prison in Manama from where he was able to contact his family.
The family were allowed to visit him on 7 January, and they saw that he had difficulty moving and was in pain.
Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:
- Urging the authorities to release Ahmad Mshaima’ immediately and unconditionally if he is held solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly;
- Urging them to order an immediate and independent investigation into his allegations of torture and bring those responsible to justice;
- Urging them to provide him with any medical attention he may require, including access to specialised hospitals.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 FEBRUARY 2014 TO:
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1766 4587 (keep trying)
Salutation: Your Majesty
Minister of Interior
Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1723 2661
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P. O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1753 1284
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Ahmad Mshaima’ is the son of Hassan Mshaima’ who is serving a life sentence in Jaw Prison on the outskirts of Manama, as one of 13 jailed opposition activists. Since March 2013, Hassan Mshaima’ has been denied adequate medical care and family visits for refusing to wear the prison uniform. For further information please see UA 139/11, Index: MDE 11/025/2013, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE11/025/2013/en and its follow-up.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), appointed by Royal Order on 29 June 2011, was charged with investigating and reporting on human rights violations committed in connection with the 2011 protests. At the launch of the BICI report in November 2011, the government publicly committed itself to implementing its recommendations. The report recounted the government’s response to the mass protests and documented wide-ranging human rights abuses. Among its key recommendations, the report called on the government to bring to account those responsible for human rights violations, including torture and excessive use of force, and carry out independent investigations into allegations of torture.
Two years have passed since the BICI report, and the government has failed to implement the report’s key recommendations. Prisoners of conscience, including some arrested during the protests, remain behind bars and the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly are still being suppressed. More people have been jailed simply for daring to express their views, whether via Twitter or on peaceful marches. Bahraini courts have appeared more concerned with toeing the government line than offering effective remedy to Bahrainis and upholding the rule of law.
The establishment of BICI and its report was considered a groundbreaking initiative, but the promise of meaningful reform has been betrayed by the government’s unwillingness to implement key recommendations around accountability; this includes its failure to carry out independent, effective and transparent investigations into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and excessive use of force, and to prosecute all those who gave the orders to commit human rights abuses. For further information see the report Reform shelved, repression unleashed, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE11/062/2012/en.
Bahrain’s parliament held an extraordinary session on 28 July 2013, after which it submitted 22 recommendations to the King, Shaikh Hamad Bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa. The recommendations toughen punishments laid out in the 2006 anti-terrorism law. A few days later the King issued several decrees further curtailing the right to freedom of expression, including banning all protests, sit-ins and public gatherings in Manama indefinitely and giving the security forces additional sweeping powers.
A joint statement signed by 47 countries at the UN Human Rights Council on 9 September expressed serious concern about the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain.
Name: Ahmad Mshaima’
Gender m/f: m
UA: 5/14 Index: MDE 11/003/2014 Issue Date: 8 January 2014