Document - Bahrain: Arbitrary arrest / fear of torture: Muhammad Ja'far al-Ma'raj, 'Abd al-'Ali Jassim (32), 'Ali Yusif Hassan (25), 'Abd al-Hussein Hussein Ma'raj Mal Allah (28), 'Ali Fallah 'Abdullah (21)
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: MDE 11/14/95
UA 164/95Arbitrary Arrest / Fear of Torture7 July 1995
BAHRAINMuhammad Ja'far al-Ma'raj
'Abd al-'Ali Jassim (aged 32)
'Ali Yusif Hassan (aged 25)
'Abd al-Hussein Hussein Ma'raj Mal Allah (aged 28)
'Ali Fallah 'Abdullah (aged 21)
Amnesty International has received reports that Muhammad Ja'far al-Ma'raj, 'Ali Yusif Hassan 'Abd al-'Ali Jassim, 'Abd al-Hussein Hussein Ma'raj Mal Allah and 'Ali Fallah 'Abdullah were arrested between 29 June and 2 July 1995 and fears that all five men may be at serious risk of torture or ill-treatment.
Muhammad Ja'far al-Ma'raj was arrested at his home in al-Qur'ya on 29 June 1995. 'Ali Yusif Hassan and 'Ali Fallah 'Abdullah who are also from al-Qur'ya were arrested at their homes on 30 June. On 2 July, 'Abd al-'Ali Jassim was arrested at his home in Jidd Haffs and 'Abd al-Hussein Hussein Ma'raj Mal Allah was arrested at his home in Nuwaidrat. All five arrests were reportedly carried out by the security police and the riot police between the hours of 2 and 3am. The men were allegedly beaten in front of their families and handcuffed and had their homes searched before being taken into custody. Their current whereabouts are unknown and Amnesty International fears that they may be subjected to further ill-treatment or torture.
Amnesty International does not know the precise reasons for their arrest. However, reports received indicate that the five men may have been arrested for campaigning on behalf of prisoners arrested in connection with "pro-democracy" demonstrations, which have been taking place in Bahrain since December 1994, and for helping the families of those detained. If this is true, Amnesty International would consider them prisoners of conscience.
Widespread arrests have taken place in Bahrain since early December 1994, as security forces have attempted to crush a popular "pro-democracy" movement. Demonstrators have been calling on the government to reconvene the National Assembly (dissolved by the Amir in 1975) to respect the provisions of the country's 1973 Constitution and to release all political detainees. Most of the detainees have been held incommunicado and Amnesty International has received numerous reports of torture and other ill-treatment.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters either in English or in your own language:
- seeking information about the reasons for the arrest of Muhammad Ja'far al-Ma'raj,'Abd al-'Ali Jassim,'Ali Yusif Hassan,'Abd al-Hussein Hussein Ma'raj Mal Allah and 'Ali Fallah 'Abdullah and details of any charges to be brought against them;
- requesting information on their whereabouts, seeking assurances that they are being humanely treated and urging that they be granted immediate access to lawyers, relatives and independent doctors in accordance with international standards;
- seeking assurances that all detainees arrested since December 1994 are being treated humanely in accordance with international standards, urging that their whereabouts be made known to their families and urging that they be granted immediate access to their relatives, lawyers and independent doctors;
- urging the prompt release of all those arrested since December 1994 unless they are to be charged with a recognizable criminal offence.
His Highness Shaikh 'Issa Bin Salman Al Khalifa
Office of His Highness the Amir
PO Box 555
The Amiri Court
Rifa'a Palace, Bahrain
Telexes:8666 Qasar BN; 8500 Qasar BN
Telegrams:His Highness the Amir, al-Manama, Bahrain
Salutation: Your Highness
Minister of Interior
Shaikh Muhammad Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa
Minister of Interior
PO Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain
Telexes:9572 PSMKT BN or 7889 PMPO BN
Telegrams:Minister of Interior, al-Manama, Bahrain
Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa
PO Box 1000, al-Manama, Bahrain
Telexes:9336 PROM BN or 7889 PMPO BN
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: to diplomatic representatives of Bahrain accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 18 August 1995.