Bahrain Mirror: The UN High Commissioner for human rights website disclosed a letter sent by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the Bahraini government about the torture Ali Mohamed Hakeem Al-Arab, who was sentenced to death last January, was subjected to.
The letter that dates back to July 6, 2017, tackled the torture practiced against Al-Arab in the Criminal Investigation Department and Dry Dock Prison.
According to the information mentioned in the letter, on 9 February 2017, Ali Mohamed Hakeem Al-Arab, a 23-year-old Bahraini student, was arrested in Manama by law enforcement agents and taken to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). The family of Al-Arab was not notified of his whereabouts until they received a phone call from him on 11 February 2017.
The letter indicated that Al-Arab was detained at the CID for 26 days, during which he had no access to a lawyer and was never notified of the charges against him. He was allowed to make six phone calls to his family.
Al-Arab was kept alone in a room where he was interrogated at length by law enforcement officers. During the interrogations, he was allegedly subjected to several forms of torture: he endured electric shocks, the removal of toenails and severe beatings. He was later forced to sign a confession, while blindfolded, by an officer of the Public Prosecution Office.
The letter revealed that on 7 March 2017, Ali Al-Arab was transferred to the Dry Dock prison. Upon arrival, he was taken to the administration office of the prison and was ordered to kiss the boot of an officer. Having refused to do so, Al-Arab was repeatedly beaten on his legs. Later that day, he was taken to the prison clinic in a wheelchair.
On 9 March 2017, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement identifying Al-Arab as the main suspect in the killing of a police officer on 29 January 2017.
On 11 April 2017, he was taken from Dry Dock prison back to the CID where he reportedly remains at high risk of being tortured again.
Members of the UN Working Group and the Special Rapporteur expressed grave concern at the alleged torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Ali Mohamed Hakeem Al-Arab at the Criminal Investigation Directorate and the Dry Dock prison in Bahrain.
The members stressed in their letter that addressed the Bahraini authorities on the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture, reminding the Bahraini authorities of the recommendations given by the Committee against Torture in its concluding observations on the initial report of Bahrain.
The UN working team urged the government to take all necessary measures to guarantee Al-Arab's right not to be deprived arbitrarily of liberty and to fair proceedings before an independent and impartial tribunal.
The team also demanded the Bahraini authorities to ensure that no evidence obtained through torture is admitted in cases against Ali Al-Arab.
A Bahraini court issued in January 2017, death sentences against Ali Al-Arab and others over establishing "terrorist group" and other fabricated charges based on confessions extracted under torture.