On 29 September 2016, Fadhel Abbas Radhi, also known as Fadhel Abbas, was arrested from his home in Hamad town, at night, by officers of the Special Security Command, also known as the riot police. Since his arrest, Fadhel Abbas has been denied visits by his family and access to his lawyer. He is still reportedly detained at the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) building, infamous for the large number of cases of torture reported, and has still not been presented before a judicial authority. Fearing he was subjected to torture and that he will be charged on the basis of confessions extracted under torture, Alkarama addressed an urgent appeal to the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (SRT), Dr Nils Melzer, requesting his intervention with the Bahraini authorities in order to secure the respect and implementation of Fadhel Abbas’ rights as a detainee.
Since his arbitrary arrest by officers of the riot police as well as masked men in civilian clothing, who raided his home at night and did not present any warrant, Fadhel Abbas has only been allowed three phone calls to his family. When he called his family for the last time on 10 December 2016, he sounded tired and unintelligible. Despite the many requests addressed to relevant institutions in Bahrain, Fadhel Abbas’ family has not been allowed to visit him in detention. What is even more concerning is that released detainees have reportedly seen Fadhel Abbas at a hospital in very bad shape.
Considering that his family has not heard from him since 10 December 2016, Fadhel Abbas remains in incommunicado detention. UN bodies such as the Human Rights Committee (HRCtee) and the SRT recognise that incommunicado detention facilitates the exercise of torture, and that prolonged incommunicado detention is itself a form of cruel and inhuman treatment, for both the detainee and his family.
Given Bahrain’s record with regards to torture and the CID’s reputation as a place of detention where torture is routinely practiced, Alkarama requested the SRT to urgently intervene with the Bahraini authorities to allow Fadhel Abbas immediate access to his lawyer and his family and to promptly present him to a judge to allow him to challenge the legality of his detention. Alkarama further requested the SRT to call upon the Bahraini authorities to launch an independent and impartial investigation into the torture claims and to exclude from all trial proceedings confessions made under torture, if any.
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