Abdulla MohsenBlog: http://bahraineyes.blogspot.com/
Arrested between 21 Dec 2007 and 13 Jul 2008
Abdulla Mohsen is a Bahraini blogger and activist.
On December 17, 2007, protesters held a demonstration at Jidd Haffs to commemorate “Martyr’s Day,” a day the Bahraini opposition announced to honor the memorial of the torture victims on the authority-inaugurated “King’s Ascension Day.” One participant, 31 year-old Ali Jassem, was brought to a hospital and died a few hours later, apparently due to tear gas exposure fired by the police. The authorities stated that heart failure was the cause of death (Mahmood’s Den » “Martyr’s Day” commemoration death).
Between December 21 and 28, 2007, members of the Special Security Forces began a wave of arrests that targeted more than 60 activists. As of January 8, 2008, 28 remained in detention (Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights » URGENT APPEAL Bahrain: Arbitrary detention / Judicial proceedings / Ill-treatments / Tortur). Among them was Abdulla Mohsen, who was arrested at his house on December 21 (Nido » Abdulla Mohsen). The detainees are accused of participating in riots on the funeral of Ali Jassem. At a meeting in memorial of Ali Jassem, about 500 protesters vandalized public and private property, set fire to garbage bins and blocked roads. The demonstrators also set Jidd Haffs suq on fire and damaged a private car.
Officers intervened to restore order and prevent rioters, who were using Molotov cocktails, iron rods and stones to attack police, from committing further acts of violence. A policeman sustained severe injuries in the clashes and rioters set a police vehicle on fire after stealing weapons from it (Gulf Daily News » Ill prisoner’s family “kept in the dark”).
Abdulla Mohsen is accused of stealing weapons from a police jeep and then burning the vehicle (Nido » Abdulla Mohsen). His sister claims that he wasn’t even at the scene when the crime occurred (Gulf Daily News » Ill prisoner’s family “kept in the dark”).
During the time in prison, Mohsen developed a serious kidney problem, according to his sister. He was sent to a hospital for medical treatment (Gulf Daily News » Ill prisoner’s family “kept in the dark”).
On February 24, 2008, a new hearing took place regarding 18 persons involved in the December demonstration. The latter were only given 15 minutes to talk to their lawyers before the hearing. Although the hearing was supposed to be open, the police only allowed a few people to get into the judicial “complex.” In the course of the session, seven of the accused pleaded not guilty of charges of “illegal gathering” as well as “theft of a weapon and ammunition and possession of weapon and ammunition without permission” that had been brought against them in relation to the demonstration held on December 17, 2007.
The defendants further complained about the acts of torture and ill-treatment they endured while in detention, such as being prevented from sleeping, tied up for long periods and refusal of medical attention. Some of them reiterated that they were sexually abused.
Lawyers representing the men urged the court to release them on bail or grant them access to a doctor and medical check-up. Judge Shaikh Mohammed bin Ali Al Khalifa dismissed these requests. A new hearing was set for March 17, 2008 to allow defense lawyers time to get prepared. After the hearing, the defendants were allowed to meet their relatives briefly, before being transferred to the Dry Dock Detention Centre, in Muharraq (Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights » URGENT APPEAL Bahrain: Arbitrary detention / Judicial proceedings / Ill-treatments / Tortur).