- Father of Ali Mushaima, 21-year old Bahraini who was first individual killed by police on 14 February 2011 during Bahrain’s Arab Spring uprising;
- Abdulhadi Mushaima, 57 years old, suffers a range of health problems linked to severe diabetes, making him particularly vulnerable to COVID-19;
- Mushaima’s detention is the latest in a series of arrests apparently aimed at deterring protests marking the 10th anniversary of the uprising, including children as young as 12.
16 February 2021 – Mr Abdulhadi Mushaima, the 57 year-old father of Ali Mushaima – the first person killed by police during Bahrain’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising – was arrested at a court in Bahrain today. His detention is part of a wave of recent arrests surrounding the 10 year anniversary of the nation’s popular uprising and also falls just two days after the anniversary of his son’s murder by government forces. The government of Bahrain must immediately order his release, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) stated today.
Abdulhadi’s arrest follows a summons he received on 6 January 2021 ordering him to appear before Bahrain’s 4th Lower Criminal Court today, over his alleged participation in an unlicensed gathering during protests in the village of Sanabis in 2019. Unlicensed gatherings of more than five people are illegal under Bahraini law, effectively criminalising all protest activity.
Abdulhadi has a range of health issues linked to diabetes, from which he suffers frequent episodes often requiring hospitalisation. His condition makes him particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, cases of which have recently been confirmed in multiple Bahraini prisons and detention centres. Abdulhadi is currently held at Bahrain’s Criminal Investigations Directorate in the district of Adliya.
On 14 February 2011 Abdulhadi’s son, Ali Mushaima, became the first individual to be killed by security forces during the brutal crackdown against Bahrain’s Arab Spring Uprising in 2011. Ali died after being shot in the back with shotgun pellets by police whilst attending a protest on what is known as Bahrain’s ‘Day of Rage’ (BICI, pg 171).
Ali’s murder was documented at length by Bahrain’s Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI, pg 228), which reported in 2011 that Ali ’s death could “be attributed to the use of excessive force by police officers” and that “the fact that Mr [Mushaima] was shot in the back at close range indicates that there was no justification for the use of lethal force”. Thousands of mourners attended Ali’s funeral, who marched together and assembled at Pearl Roundabout on 15th February 2011. The officers responsible were never investigated or held accountable for his murder.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director commented: “Not content with allowing his son’s murderers to walk free for a decade, Bahrain has now convicted Ali Mushaima’s father simply for calling for justice for his son. This is the latest outrageous act of judicial harassment against Abdulhadi Mushaima, just days after the 10th anniversary of his son’s killing and is clearly intended to deter protests commemorating Bahrain’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising. He must be released immediately”