HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ARRESTED, RISKS TORTURE

Bahraini human rights activist Hussain Jawad was arrested in the early hours of 16 February and taken to the Criminal Investigations Directorate. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Human rights activist Hussain Jawad was arrested at around 1.30am on 16 February by masked police officers in plain clothes. They searched his house and then took him to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). They did not say why they were arresting him, but Amnesty International fears it may have been because of his human rights work.

Around 10 hours after his arrest, he phoned his wife and said that he was fine. She asked him whether the police had hurt him: he said “yes” and the line was cut off. Many of those taken to the CID in recent weeks and months have said they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated. His lawyer has written to the Public Prosecution Office (PPO) asking to be told when Hussain Jawad is brought for interrogation, so that she can be present with him. Amnesty International has written to the PPO to ask why he was arrested and ensure that he is not tortured or otherwise ill- treated.

Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini organization for Human Rights (EBOHR), was arrested before, after giving a speech during a protest rally in 2013. He was charged with “criticizing government institutions”, “insulting the flag and emblem of the country”, “attempting to disrupt public security” and “illegal gathering”. He is currently on trial for those charges and the next hearing is scheduled for 25 February.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

  • Expressing concern that Hussain Jawad may have been arrested because of his human rights work;
  • Calling on the authorities to release him unless he is charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence;
  • Urging them to ensure that Hussain Jawad is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and is given prompt access to his lawyer, family and any medical attention he may require.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Hussain Jawad’s father, Mohammad Hassan Jawwad, is serving a 15-year sentence in Jaw Prison as one of 13 jailed opposition activists. Hussain Jawad was arrested on 24 November 2013 while at the al-Wusta Police Station south of the capital, Manama, where he was filing a complaint against a Bahraini daily newspaper and an organization with close links to the authorities for defamation. They had published the photos and the names of 18 Bahraini human rights defenders and political activists and alleged that they were responsible for “human rights violations” and “terrorist attacks” in the country and called for them to be punished. Their actions came in apparent response to a campaign organized by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) called “End Impunity in Bahrain”, which ran from 1 to 23 November. During the campaign the BCHR published the names of people it deemed responsible for, or involved in, ongoing human rights violations in the country.

Name: Hussain Jawad Gender m/f: m

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