Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jassim AlHulaibi, University Student, Sentenced to 15 years

Name: Jassim Mohammed Jassim Al Hulaibi
Age: 19 years old
Date of Arrest: March 27th, 2011
Student of teachers college, scholarship of the Ministry of Education

Jassim is a first year student in Bahrain Teachers' College (University of Bahrain). He was arrested in a pre-dawn raid on his house by security forces on 27th March 2011
Although his family searched for him in police stations, the officers denied their son's existence. His family was in fear about where he was being held for more than a month. They only received a call from the Criminal Investigation Department requesting them to bring him clothes without allowing his family to see him.
He was presented to the Military Court for the first time without notifying his family or his lawyer. Even after his family appointed a lawyer for him, Jassim wasn't allowed to see his lawyer before the second hearing. His family was only allowed to see him for ten minutes after the hearing, which took place two months after the date of his arrest. Neither his lawyer nor his family members were informed of the charges against him until the third hearing, where he was accused of taking part in the University of Bahrain incident where the Pro-Government thugs attacked the campus on 13th March 2011.
Jassim was not at the university on 13th March 2011. He was in the hospital receiving medical care for a foot injury. His family presented a medical certificate to the Court in this regard as a proof of his absence that day but the Court ignored it. His family was notified that he was expelled from the University of Bahrain in May (while he was still held in detention). Jassim complained of back pain during detention due to torturing and mistreatment.
Following is a letter from Jassim's father which clarifies how he was detained and what he went through before and after the arrest…

My son, Jassim Mohammed Jassim Al-Hulaibi, is student and this is his first year in Bahrain Teachers' College at the University of Bahrain. Graduated from High School in 2010 with GPA of 92%, he was awarded a scholarship after many exams and a personal interview.
Jassim was an excellent student in his first semester, after 14th February 2011 I always advised him to concentrate on his study.
On 13th March 2011, he left home at 7 am to pick his friend up from Noaim village to go to the University. I called him almost at 8:30 A.M and told him to come back home as news spread about unrest in the country, he was still held in traffic and hadn’t yet made it to campus so he returned home (in Sanabis village) with his friend. Both of them remained at home until 10 am then they went out during protest in the area where my son got injured by a rubber bullet in his leg, so we took him to Salmaniya Medical Centre (SMC) at 1 pm to get his leg treated. I still have all the hospital papers which prove that his leg was splinted that day (13th March 2011) and he was at a government managed hospital at the same time the university was being attacked.

On 27th March 2011, at 2 am, Our house was raided, doors were smashed and kids were terrorized by about 10 to 15 masked peopled (policemen), who arrested my son (Jassim).
We searched for my son in all the police stations for over a month, but we could not find him or get an answer about his custody location. After about a month of searching we received a call from the Criminal Investigation Division in Adliya (a place where we have been) asking us to bring clothes, soap, shampoo and tooth paste for our son but without allowing us to see him or speak to him.
After almost two months they called us again and informed us to appoint a lawyer for Jassim and that his session will be in 4 days. We attended his session (which turned out to be the second session) in the Military Court, lawyers were appointed to the defendants and the court session was adjourned.
In the third session in court (after one week from the second one) the charges were read by the Military judge against the defendants so we finally knew what he was charged with.
The charges were as follow:
- Attempted murder
- Ignite fire in a government building (university Bahrain)
- Possession of incendiary materials and Molotov cocktails
- Vandalism of a government building (university of Bahrain)
- Unauthorized gathering and Incitement to hatred against the regime
Our first visit to our son Jassim was in the Military Court for 10 minutes only after his court hearing; note that this was his second session in court as we did not know about the first court session but our son Jassim informed us that it is the second session, although the third session was only 3 days from the second one with the attendance of the lawyer Mr.Ahmed Abdullah Al-Shamlan.
We reached the sixth court session with the lawyer Mr.Ahmed Al-Shamlan and he testified that Jassim was at home during the incident of UOB on 13th March 2011. Also, in the previous court session was the hearing of the prosecution witnesses who added nothing to the case and testified that they did not see the defendants during the incident of UOB, and none of the accused students of UOB were seen that day. The trial was adjourned to 2 weeks for arguments and the date 7th July 2011 was set for verdict hearing.
We received a letter from the Dean of Student Affair (The Chairman of the Inquiry Committee in the UOB incident), Dr. Osama Abdullah Al-Jowdar on 11th April 2011 informing that our son Jasim must attend the Inquiry Committee in UOB for investigation but I called the university and told them that he is arrested/detained so their respond was "if he was released he must come to the University for review".
On 5th May 2011 we received another letter by Registered Mail from the President of the University of Bahrain, Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi informing us that our son was permanently expelled from UOB but he can raise grievance.
On 16th July 2011 I asked the lawyer to send a letter to the prosecution demanding the release of my son Jassim with the insurance of the place of his residence and the demand was provided on 18th July 2011 but until now we did not receive any reply from them.
 My son was visited by The Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) and they (the commission members) told him that he should be released soon. Now, we are able to visit him every Monday for half an hour and he calls us every day. Also, he was examined by a Doctor because he was suffering from pains in his back.

NOTE: This Letter was written in the first of September 2011.

Jasim was sentenced to 15 years on 3rd October 2011 to the charges mentioned above in the letter.
Last news about him is that he is now transferred to Jaw Prison to serve his sentence and he is allowed to call his family once a week and is visited twice a month.
On 2nd January 2012, the first appeal of the case was held. The session was postponed to 16th March 2012 without hearing any of the lawyers. The Judge refused to call the University of Bahrain’s president or head of security as witnesses

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