Letter: Urgent Request for Investigation on Violent Assault against Political Prisoners at Jau Prison on 3 January 2023

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Feature Photo: Prison Director Major Hisham Ibrahim Jasim

10 January 2023

Dear Special Investigations Unit, Ombudsman’s Office and NIHR,

Copy: Justice Minister, Attorney General, Interior Minister, Bahrain Embassy in London

We are writing to you out of serious concern to urge you to launch an immediate investigation into an incident that took place on 3 January 2023 at approximately 10:50 AM at Building No. 3, 3rd Floor (known as prison ward 3) at Jau Prison whereby prison officials allegedly beat up prisoners and stepped on their necks in a technique similar to that used in the murder of the American George Floyd.

A total of 14 political prisoners in two cells (one of which is cell number 11) were involved in this incident. Prisoners were dragged from their cells by force and subjected to appalling violence; they were punched, kicked, pepper sprayed and had their necks stepped on by prison officers in clear violation of international law.

All 14 prisoners in the building are incommunicado since the incident (3 January 2023).

Details of the Incident (3 January 2023)

According to the testimony of the witness, political prisoner Husain Ali Muhana (حسين علي مهنا), on Tuesday, 3 January 2023, prison officers directed by Ahmed Al-Ammadi wanted to force prisoners in Building 3 of Jau Prison out of their cell and move them to a new cell without beds or televisions.

Husain’s father, Ali Muhana, posted the audio recording of the testimony on his twitter account on 7 January 2023. Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The audio recording in this post was not read out by Husain Ali Muhana but rather by another inmate at Jau Prison named Hussein Ghazwan where he was placed in solitary confinement on 8 January 2023 after releasing the testimony in a telephone call.

When the prisoners refused to leave their cells, officer Al-Ammadi ordered the policemen to take the political prisoner Mohamed Jumaa Al-Khor (محمد جمعة الخور) forcibly out of the prison cell. The policemen threw Mohamed Jumaa Al-Khor to the ground and the policeman Hassan Jumaa stepped on his neck in a similar technique used in the murder of the American George Floyd. They also pulled down Abdul Nabi’s trousers and at this moment the officer who had been filming the incident stopped doing so.

Political prisoner Mohamed Abduljalil (محمد عبد الجليل) then went to the officer who had been filming, asked him to film what was happening and questioned why he was being selective in what he chose to film and what he chose not to film, but the officer still refused to film the incident [CCTV cameras are placed in the building and it should illustrate how he dealt with the filming].

When the officers took Mohamed Jumaa Al-Khor out of the cell, his hand was swollen and his neck was injured and they put him in a room on his own. The same officers later came again to the prison cell and dragged political prisoner Hussein Ahmed (حسين احمد) outside of the cell, injuring his hand because of the handcuffs.

They then took Mohamed Abduljalil and repeated what they did to Mohamed Jumaa Al-Khor, stepping on his neck once again (similar to George Floyd’s murder technique). The policeman Hassan Jumaa also punched him several times and kicked him causing policeman Hamid Faraj to attempt to intervene to stop his violence, but Jumaa refused to stop. At this time, Husain Ali Muhana went to officer Al-Ammadi asking him to order the policeman to stop hitting the prisoners, and a policeman called Nasser attempted to punch him (Husain Ali Muhana).

Some prisoners were then forcibly taken to a new cell (number 7) with no beds, television, cleaning utilities, or any of their belongings, Mohamed Jumaa Al-Khor was also pepper sprayed. Those who were stated in the testimony and who are currently placed in cell number 7 are:

  1. Husain Ali Muhana

  2. Mohamed Jumaa Al-Khor

  3. Ammar Abdulghani (عمار عبدالغني)

  4. Akil Abdulrasool (عقيل عبدالرسول)

  5. Mohamed Abduljalil

The witness also believes that similar violence was used against inmates in another cell (number 11) and that the prison cameras (CCTV) were all filming the incidents, but he was not present to testify to the details of this incident.

Names of Known/Named Policemen and Officers involved [alleged perpetrators of abuse highlighted in bold]

  1. Officer Ahmed Al-Ammadi: Led the operation and should be responsible for any excessive violence

  2. Policeman Hassan Jumaa: Subjected inmates to beatings and to crushing force on their necks (in the style of the George Floyd murder)

  3. Policeman Nasser: Attempted beat up an inmate

  4. Policeman Hamid Faraj

  5. Policeman Hussein Al-Soudi

  6. Cameraman

  7. By order of Prison Director Major Hisham Ibrahim Jasim

We understand that all the police officers are of Syrian origin except for the person who was filming who is Pakistani and Al-Ammadi who is a Bahraini officer. It is noted that the witness stated that the director of Jau prison, Major Hisham Ibrahim Jasim came to the same building in the prison a week prior to the incident and stated “why do they [the prisoners] still have beds and televisions?”. Prisoners believe that the 3 January incident would not have taken place without Hisham Ibrahim Jasim’s instruction.

We are further concerned that the prisoners are confined in their cells for 24 hours per day.

In September 2020, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN WGAD) published an Opinion which deemed Husain Ali Mohanna’s detention to be arbitrary and in contravention of international law (see Opinion below).

Our Requests

  1. Launch a swift and immediate investigation into the abuse incident.

  2. Request for a forensic doctor to examine the injuries of the abused prisoners and provide them with immediate medical treatment.

  3. Obtain the CCTV footage of the prison cameras and the camcorder footage of the Pakistani officer (whose identity and name can be retrieved from reviewing the CCTV footage).

  4. Interview all witnesses from the police side: Ahmed Al-Ammadi, Hassan Jumaa, Hamid Faraj, Hussein Al-Soudi, Naser, and the cameraman as well as from the prisoners side: Mohamed Jumaa Al-Khor, Mohamed Abduljalil, Hussein Ahmed, and Husain Ali Muhana as well as the prisoners forcibly taken out of cell number 11.

    1. All 14 prisoners should be interviewed.

  5. Immediately reinstate prisoners’ telephone calls to their families and allow them their rights to family visitation, since these have been suspended.

  6. End the 24 hour confinement of prisoners.

Please acknowledge the receipt of my email and inform us of what steps you are going to take with regards to the above requests.

Annexes:

  1. Husain Ali Muhana’s Testimony: Arabic transcript (original) and English translation of audio recording.

  2. UN WGAD Opinion on Husain Ali Muhana, dated 18 September 2020.

  3. Breakdown of names of political prisoners per cell prior to the incident.

Yours sincerely,

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei

Take Action & Email Your MP to ask that they support the case of Dr Abduljalil AlSingace by signing EDM 107

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

Join our newsletter

Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy will use the information you provide on this form to stay in touch with you. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us: You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at team@birdbh.org. We will treat your information with respect.