Bahraini Human Rights Defender Naji Fateel Sentenced to 15 Years, 49 Others Sentenced

Dandelion Salad

Bahrain Center for Human Rights
September 29, 2013

The court sentenced today political detainees, including activists and an human rights defender, to total of more than 400 years’ imprisonment and upheld the sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment against two children. All of the sentences were delivered under the internationally criticized and vague terrorism law. The court also reduced the sentences of two police officers who tortured a detainee to death from 10 years’, to 2 years’ imprisonment. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned over the politically motivated charges and sentences delivered against dissents, and urgently calls for an end to Bahrain’s biased judicial system.

On the 29th of September 2013, the court held the ruling session in the case known as “February 14th Coalition”, in which 50 individuals were tried under the terrorism law, including human rights defender Naji Fateel, political activist Hisham Al-Sabbag and activist Rihanna Al-Mosawi. The first session was held on 11 June 2013 in the Fourth Criminal Court, a newly established court headed by Ali Al-Dhahrani, son of the head of parliament and member judges Hamad Al-Khalifa –a member of the royal family- and Jasim Al-Ajlan. The court lacked the basic standards of fair trial, which was clear from the first session when defendants spoke about the torture they were subjected to, but were ignored by the court. (read more about the first session: On the 5th of September, the legal defense team submitted a letter requesting a change of court due to the conflict of interest, and requested a medical committee to investigate the torture allegations from the defendants. The defense team then withdrew from the session based on Article 211 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Bahrain, which stated that the defense team can refuse the judge’s ruling in the cases mentioned in the previous article and in other cases which are prescribed by the law. Moreover, the defendants issued a statement boycotting the trial stating that the lack of an independent judiciary as one of the reasons (read more: On the 29th of September 2013, the court continued the sham trial and sentenced the 50 defendants in the case to a total of 430 years in prison: 16 defendants were sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment including Naji Fateel and political activist Hisham Al-Sabbag, 4 were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 30 to 5 years. A full list of names and sentences are below.

The BCHR’s Acting President Maryam Al-Khawaja stated:

“There was no due process in the entirety of this case which is why the defendants and their lawyers decided to boycott. From the time that the defendants were abducted, tortured and then sentenced, nothing was done according to international standards of a fair trial. If these fifty people were really guilty of a crime, why was the only evidence presented confessions extracted under torture? This was a sham trial with a political verdict, they should be released immediately”.

The children Jihad Sadeq, 17 years old, and Mohammed Al-Meqdad, 16 years old, were arrested on 23 July 2012 from Bilad Al-Qadeem. They were subjected to enforced disappearance for nearly 48 hours before they were allowed to contact their families. They were interrogated without a lawyer and were reportedly subjected to ill-treatment and torture both during arrest and interrogation. Both children stated that they were forced to make false confessions. They were tried and charged as adults under the terrorism law on charges of “intent to commit murder”, “burning a police car”, “illegal gathering and rioting”, “throwing Molotov cocktails” and “attempting to steal a police car”. On the 4th of April, the High Criminal Court sentenced both children to 10 years’ imprisonment (read: and On the 29th of September, the Cassation Court upheld the sentence of 10 years imprisonment against both Jihad and Mohammed. They are serving their sentence in adults prison with adult detainees.

In another case, 4 defendants, Mohammed AbdulAmeer Mushaima, Jassim Khalil Al-Saffar, Meqdad Al-Jazeeri and Hussain AbdulGjani, were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment today, the 29th of September 2013 for criminal arson – burning a vehicle – under the terrorism law. It was reported that prior to Meqdad Al-Jazeera’s arrest, he was asked to work as a spy on human rights defenders for the Ministry of Interior and when he refused, the officer told him that he will be charged. They were all reportedly tortured in the Criminal Investigation Directorate.

At the same time, the authorities continued their policy of impunity towards the security forces. Five police officers were accused in the beating that lead to the death of another detainee, Ali Saqer. The court has found to of them guilty in the death of Saqer and has sentenced them to ten years in prison. The officers have not attended the ruling hearing, and were not detained (see: The court reduced the sentences of the two officers charged with torture to death in custody from 10 years to 2 years’ imprisonment. Although, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry concluded in its report about this case that “996. The death of Mr. Ali is attributed to torture at the Dry Dock Detention Centre. Mr. Ali was in the custody of the MoI at the time of his death.”

The BCHR believes that sentences issued today are unfair and in absolute violation of fair trials international standards. The harsh and baseless verdicts are clearly politically motivated against dissents and activists, while sentences against security forces and MoI personnel are following the authorities policy of fostering a culture of impunity towards human rights violators including torture and killing committed by the security forces. (read about the Ali Saqer case – tortured to death :

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and all other close allies and relevant international institutions to pressure the government of Bahrain to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release the political detainees in the “February 14th Coalition case”, “Jidhaf’s case, the children Jehad and Ebrahim” and all other political prisoners in Bahrain.
  • End the practice of sham trials and politically motivated sentences and charges.
  • End the culture of impunity, and bring those responsible for the protection of criminals to justice including the officials at the public prosecution.

Names and sentences of defendants in “February 14th Coalition” case:

15 years’ imprisonment

  1. Hisham Abduljalil Al-Sabbag
  2. Naji Fateel
  3. Saeed Abdulnabi Al-Shahabi
  4. Abdulraoof Al-Shayeb
  5. Mosa AbdAli Ali Mohammed
  6. Hadi Mohammed Al-Mudarisi
  7. Ali Hasan Ali Al-Mushaima
  8. Abbas Abdulaziz Al-Omran
  9. Qassim Bader Al-Hashimi
  10. Ghulam Khairallah Mohammadi
  11. Saber Ali Al-Salatna
  12. Mahmood Nasser Al-Mushaima
  13. Habib Abdulla Hasan Al-Jamri
  14. Rashed Ahmed Rashed Al-Rashed
  15. Al-Sayed Jaffar Kadhem Al-Alawi
  16. Abdulnabi Isa Khanjar

10 years’ imprisonment

  1. Hussain Ramadan Mohammed Shaban
  2. AbdAli Mohammed AbdAli Al-Khair
  3. Hussain Ahmed Rashed Khalil
  4. Hassan Ahmed Nasser Juma

5 years’ imprisonment

  1. Raihanna Sayed Abdulla Hussain
  2. Mohammed Ali Mohammed Al-Tal
  3. Faisal Mansoor Eid Naser
  4. Taleb Ali Mohammed Hasan
  5. Hameed Abbas Al-Safy
  6. Jehad Mohammed Ali Mohammed
  7. Abbas Ahmed Al-Ekri
  8. Isa Mohammed Isa Al-Ghais
  9. Mohammed Abdulla Al-Sangais
  10. Ehsan Abdulredha Abdulla
  11. Habib Abdulla Ashoor
  12. Ahmed Jaffar Al-Mutagawi
  13. Abdulla Jaffar Al-Madani
  14. Jawad Abdulla Al-Arab
  15. Jaffar Taha Al-Jamri
  16. Ali Ahmed Abdulhussain
  17. Sulaiman Habib Ismail
  18. Mohammed Ebrahim Yaqoob
  19. Hussain Ali Dawood
  20. Kadhem Alawi Salman
  21. Ali Mohammed Habib Ashoor
  22. Yasser Abdulla Khalil
  23. Jaffar Ahmed Nasser
  24. Hassan Ahmed Sarhan
  25. Ali Abdulshaheed Al-Sangais
  26. Abbas Jameel Al-Sameea
  27. Ali Jameel Al-Sameeal
  28. Mohammed Jameel Al-Sameea
  29. Abbas AbdAli Al-Kharaz
  30. Jaffar Yahya Ali


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see also:

Bahrain: Update – Human rights defender Mr Naji Fateel sentenced 15 years following unfair trial and evidence of torture