HASSAN’S TORTURE TESTIMONY

The following text has been extracted from a 2012 BICI report. Translated from Arabic, Hassan Mushaima spoke to the Supreme Court of Appeal about the torture he had endured during his detention.

TW: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse

The worst of all my previous arrests…

The last arrest came after the events that took place on FEBRUARY 14, 2011. It was the worst arrest that I ever encountered throughout my entire life. Security forces came on March 17, 2011 at around 2 am in order to inflict more harm and terror to those asleep, and terrorize and scare the children […].

I was asleep but my sons and daughters were awake, they heard a loud and continuous ringing of the door bell, so they came to wake me up and tell me that the riot police were surrounding the house and that they were here to arrest me. I went to them and asked  the usual question if they had had a court order for my arrest but they remained silent and entered my bedroom and searched it and took my laptop and my mobile phone, they then handcuffed me and took me, accompanied by a large number of riot police to “Safra” area. After a […] quick examination, they handcuffed me again and blindfolded me and put me in a vehicle. 

Unlike all of my previous arrests, with beating, humiliation, insults and verbal abuse, for this one there was no law upheld or respected and no rights for the detainee, only bursts of hatred, revenge and vengeance.

As a matter of fact, the first of those words were: Mushaima – to hell with you and your sect. This degrading treatment continued all the way until we reached “Al-Qareen” Prison, whose name I found out later. There I received another reception party of beating and punching all over my body and especially on my head and ears. They spat on me and pushed me until I fell and was injured. I was about to vomit from the intensity of the cold but they continued to curse, humiliate and insult me along with the beating until they took me to the solitary cell. There, to increase the humiliation, I was given an old torn sponge bed to sleep on and a dirty old blanket and a very old smelly pillow. As soon as I laid on the bed I was surprised by someone bringing cold water in the cold weather while the AC was on and started spilling it over me […] and on the bed and blanket. I stayed shaking from the cold and unable to sleep although I was very exhausted.

The FOLLOWING NIGHT […] another series of intimidation and harassment began. They hit the metal grid of the cell with hard objects that caused loud and disturbing sounds. In the middle of the night, other groups of masked men came to threaten, humiliate, mock and beat. This degrading treatment continued […] on a daily basis, and especially at midnight. I stayed awake feeling restless, expecting them to come any moment, where groups of masked men would continue with their foul methods of abuse, insult, beating and humiliation in various ways, such as standing for hours by the wall often raising my hand. I remember staying for 10 days with the same clothes without showering, until I was disgusted by my odor, so I once asked the masked policeman to allow me to shower but he did not respond. After an hour or so, another masked person wearing his civilian clothes walked into my cell and said shouting at the top of his lungs, Get up… face the wall, didn’t you try showering in London on the street? He then started pouring cold water over my entire body while I stood facing the wall, and then said, Do not move. I stayed like this for around 5 hours then another masked man came to say, We forgot about you”.

After more than a MONTH, they allowed me the only phone call and told me not to say anything except greet them. When I called and did exactly as I was told, as soon as one of my daughters was trying to tell me that the others were greeting me, the phone was cut off. I was returned to my cell where the torture continued. They threatened to bring the dogs and I could hear their barks. […] I remember that I was taken several times during the month of May in a car at dawn, for the beginning of the trials to an area distant from the camp. I was handcuffed and blindfolded, and teenage masked boys insulted and mocked me, and my sect and faith […]. They also insulted our Sheiks and religious figures, and one of them said in a mocking and humiliating tone that nobody here can bear to listen to, “your daughter is beautiful, can I fornicate with her (marry her Mut’aa).

I answered him angrily: “do not mention my family or my daughters please,” but he started to curse and threaten me. I was taken to that unknown place.

There, I was told that there was someone named Sheik Saqer that came on behalf of the Royal Court to learn my opinion and listen to me so that he can pass it on to the King. During that conversation, he suggested that I make a televised apology, and when I refused he said: “we will summon you again,” and in fact after the court hearing, they summoned me at three o’clock in the morning, and took me handcuffed and blindfolded in the same manner of ridicule […]. When I met him, he offered the same earlier suggestion, but I refused. As soon as I answered, several masked men attacked me, sexually harassed me and began pulling my beard saying that they would return the cancer I was cured from instantly that night. […]

Around the END OF MAY, and as usual at midnight, a group of 9 masked men came inside the prison and started shouting out insults, and beating us. When they came near my cell they started ridiculing me, threatening me with the execution sentence, then, someone whose age could be the age of one of my grandsons came and put his foot forth asking me to kiss it; is there any humiliation more than this?!! Are these degrading methods practiced against us as personal behaviour like some suggest or is it the Authority’s behaviour? Or is it the methods of the higher authorities? […] We did complain about our condition and what we encountered to the interrogators at the military prosecution office but with no use. On the contrary, we were beaten and insulted in the same military court itself and in a degrading and humiliating way as well. When they wanted to take us to the military courtroom or to meet the lawyer or for short family visits, they treated us with spite and humiliation and they would shout at us saying, “Head down… look at the ground”. Sometimes they would hold us forcefully by the neck while pushing us to the visiting rooms.

On the first sentencing day on 22ND JUNE, 2011, and after we said, “peaceful….peaceful, freedom demanding people,” they handcuffed us from the back and blindfolded us and shoved us outside by pushing and kicking. At first, they put us against the wall and started hitting us in different ways. They continued punching and hitting us with shoes in the waiting room. I remember one of the officers, after asking me about my sentence, started hitting me repeatedly and I could feel that he was taking out his anger on me […]. He continued to beat me all over my body, by using his hands, feet, and shoes. He would put the heel of his shoes in my mouth and rubbed it (my mouth) with the shoes. Then he took my slipper and started hitting me with it, he rubbed it over my face and in my mouth in front of the court officials without them taking any measures. When we complained, no one paid any attention to us. 

Please see here the full testimony: Hassan Mushaima Torture Testimony