Document - Bahrain: further information on: fear of torture / legal concern

EXTERNALAI Index: MDE 11/10/96

18 April 1996

Further information (1) on UA 29/96 (MDE 11/03/96, 8 February 1996) - Fear of Torture / Legal Concern

BAHRAINAhmad Mansur 'Ali Ahmad, administrator in private company

Ahmad al-Shamlan, aged 54, lawyer

Amnesty International has learned that Ahmad Mansur 'Ali Ahmad has been released without charge or trial. The exact date of his release is not known. He had been held in administrative detention under decree of the Minister of Interior in al-Qal'a prison since his arrest on 24 January 1996.

Ahmad al-Shamlan appeared before the State Security Court for the first session in his trial on 17 April 1996. He was charged with possessing and acquiring literature containing false information abroad. He has denied the charges. His trial was adjourned for four days upon the request of his defence lawyers who asked for time to examine the case. The court supplied them with the charge sheet an hour before the first session.

Amnesty International is concerned that Ahmad al-Shamlan may be unfairly tried. The State Security Court does not allow for appeals, and proceeds to a decision at a faster pace than other courts. While lawyers are allowed a chance to defend their client, they are not given sufficient time to do so. The State Security Court generally dismisses testimonies by defence witnesses, relying solely on statements the defendant made during the investigation. The prosecution generally does not present witnesses: this is apparently in order to speed up the process.

FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/ airmail letters in English, Arabic or your own language:

- welcoming the release of Ahmad Mansur 'Ali Ahmad;

- urging that Ahmad al-Shamlan be tried in accordance with international standards for fair trial;

- requesting details of the charges against Ahmad al-Shamlan;

- seeking assurances that he is being treated humanely, and that he is being given access to family, lawyers and medical care if necessary.

If possible, please organize appeals from lawyers.


His Highness

Shaikh 'Issa Bin Salman AL Khalifa

Office of His Highness the Amir

P.O. Box 555

The Amiri Court, Rifa'a Palace, Bahrain

Telexes: 8666 Qasar BN; 8500 Qasar BN

Telegrams: His Highness the Amir, al-Manama, Bahrain

Faxes: +973 668884

Salutation: Your Highness

His Excellency

Shaikh Muhammad Bin Khalifa AL Khalifa

Minister of Interior

P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain

Telexes: 9572 PSMKT BN or 8333 ALAMAN BN

Telegrams: Minister of Interior, al-Manama, Bahrain

Faxes: +973 276765 or 290526

Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency

Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman AL Khalifa

Prime Minister

P.O. Box 1000, al-Manama, Bahrain

Telexes: 9336 PROM BN or 7889 PMPO BN

Faxes: +973 533033

Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES 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 30 May 1996.