(A bolt from the blue)
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Jawad, nicknamed "Parweez" means the savior; whereby he is identified only by his nickname. He was described as a rebel and stubborn against the tyrannical regime. He is a human rights activist and not a politician. Since his childhood, features of his physical force emerged as well as courage in defending the oppressed wherever they were. A German journalist who lived the bloody dawn of Thursday 17th of February 2011 – when the police supported by the army attacked the peaceful protesters at the Pearl Roundabout – said that he saw “Guevara” in the eyes of that man, a sixtieth who saved people tirelessly.December 1994 … Sitra as a block of fire
Events in the nineties were at zenith, initiatives for a political solution were retreated by the State which had made the situation even worse. Parweez was at home at that time warming his body after catching a cold, when he heard a skirmish between rebel youth and the police outside, he jumped from his place and rushed to open the door of the house. He participated in preventing troops from storming the neighborhood, lit tyres on fire to block the street, and then drove his car. After a few hours, Sitra (third biggest city in Bahrain) had turned into a block of fire. Parweez returned to the house waiting for his arrest. He was arrested at dawn and for 9 months nothing was known about him, a house arrest was imposed on his family for 4 months and 10 days. Parweez was released after a year.Contempting Fleifel
In the nineties, he participated in a march at (Ras Rumman) area to support the Palestinian cause. He received an order from Public Prosecution on the next day, he went in the morning and returned home late, his eyes were red and his soles were swollen and he was unable to move them. He needed to put them in a basin full of cold water for three weeks. When he was asked about what had happened, he said “they took me to the CID building, Fleifel (a well known security officer) asked why are you looking at me in disdain?! I replied because you are a despicable. Fleifel shuddered and ordered to raise my feet up and beat them from 11am until 5pm. After that I was thrown outside the building, I have no choice but to lie down in the street, my brother who was accidentally passing by, glanced me there and drove me home.If not stopped, we will arrest him!
In December 2011, the older brother of Parweez warned him saying “Parweez, stop talking about the regime, the Minister of Interior called me personally and said that last night (the night of the eighth of Muharam 1432) at the Manama consolation you blasphemed and infringed on the King in your speech, the minister thus confirmed that if you don’t stop, they will arrest you tonight”. Parweez quietly replied: “all right.”
The next night (the ninth of Muharram) he stood in the same place and time carrying photos of political prisoners, and collected donations for the families of detainees, shouted in the speaker “Minister of Interior phoned and threatened to arrest me if I talked about the unjust king, who violated the sanctity of human rights and the murderer of innocent people etc.”
The next day, he was arrested and remained detained for 33 days, and was released on January 25, 2011. Days after he re-sat in front of the Court of Justice asking for the release of his fellow detainees accused of a fabricated case of a terrorist group.
On his way to the mosque, he met one of the well-known figures who was sarcastically saying: “Thanks God for your return, people said that you are crazy”. Parweez steadily replied “a person's faith is not complete until people think of him as crazy; I talked about the poor who do not have air conditioners in this hot weather. Do not say that I'm crazy, but you are a coward, cannot do what I did.”
Soon the Arab spring breezes swept over Bahrain after 20 days of the release of Parweez.We started ... It’s certainly a revolution this time
Oddly, he slept out of the house the night of February 14, 2011. After the dawn prayer, Abdel Wahab Hussein (one of the opposition leaders) called worshipers in a mosque in the village of Nuwaidrat for Jihad against injustice. Parweez was the first responders shouting out for their demands. The shooting of the heavy tear gas by the police disunited the protesters.
Returned to Sitra – the place of his residence – at eight in the morning, his eyes seemed red as a result of the tear gas. With the spirit of a rebel; he shouted out “we have started!” One replied sarcastically “You had been repressed!” Parweez replied with confidence “Be patient and do not hasten, today afternoon there are calls for non-centralized marches at all villages, this time it’s a revolution”. February 14 afternoon, he was first in Sitra’s march, the ‘lava’ of the bullets by the security strewn blood on his clothes as he tried hard to aid the wounded.
The Pearl Roundabout was opened by the blood of the martyrs, before the soldiers betrayed the peaceful protesters at the dawn of February 17 while sleeping, and before Bahrain turned into a military barrack since March 15, 2011.Arrest at a checkpoint
Parweez tells the story of his arrest: On March 22, 2011 I went to Naim Police Station trying to receive my car, after the call of President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab, through Twitter for the need to submit complaints from car owners about the loss of their cars in the Pearl Roundabout.
I was arrested at a checkpoint near Naim Police Station, beaten and abused and then taken to the Police Station whereby a special group from the army took me to the Pearl roundabout.
Everything was gone and demolished; the roundabout and the Pearl Monument which were full of life for a whole month! Only the war machines were surrounding the place and only army troops wreak it heavily with valor. They asked me furiously “Where is your car?” I could not tell about its location, I couldn’t figure out the place. “Oh it’s there, oh no there” they got annoyed and furious, and then I was savagely beaten.
Revenge on a man in his sixtieth meant death. At that time, I read the verses and pray for forgiveness for them. They took me back to Naim Police Station, and then persons in civilian clothing came and took me to the clinic at the Fortress (a notorious Ministry of Interior building which is located at the center of the capital Manama and known as the Fortress).At the basement of the Fortress
At the clinic inside the Fortress, I was asked to take off my shirt for the x-rays, the doctor said after examination “He’s strong like a horse, take him”, implying torturing me to their utmost effort. The door was opened, there was a staircase leading to the basement, the policeman pushed me strongly, tumbled down and reached the first step, forced me to get up quickly. The Basement has a long and narrow corridor, the level of the ceiling is low to the height of an average person, on both sides of the corridor there are cells for torture, no windows to ventilate the scent of blood or clean the place. A bed made of metal was fixed to one wall of the cell, where I came in.
All senses were numb except for the ears; the voices of the detainees in the corridors penetrate the heart by the ear. In the basement, there is nobody other than the devils playing in your skin and bones, no light, no sleep nothing but torture. "They force us to face the wall while eating, without looking to the right or to the left, and usually we were fed fatty food to ensure that the body is able to bear the torture again. They released the blindfold while eating, while handcuffed in sitting position."Who are the youth of 14th February?
After three days of continuous torture, the interrogator began to try to extract confessions, Parweez said “a thick voice shouted: Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Jawad. I answered quickly: Yes, yes. I was lying on the bed and my hands were handcuffed at the back. The cell was opened; one grabbed my beard while the second dragged me by my hair. Then eight people piled on me; beating and kicking and taking me to the interrogation room.
I heard the interrogator saying quietly “Please sit down. Did you go to the Pearl Roundabout? Yes I did, I replied. The interrogator said “We found two cards in your possession; the first is for resisting normalization with the Zionists. Are you a member? I replied yes. The second card read: Executive Director of the sit-in of the Pearl Roundabout. Is this your card? Bear in mind that it has your name on it! I told him “Does not belong to me, there are many people with same name; in Nouedrat village for example there are more than three persons with the same name and tens in Ras Rumman. I was interrupted by him “Fine, and who are the youth of February 14. I replied: 400 thousands of people marched, ask any of them.”
The interrogator: who others you know? I replied: I know Hassan Mushaima, Abdul Wahab Hussein, Ibrahim Sharif (all three are well-known politician leaders in Bahrain). His voice rose high: who else you know? I said: I know one named Isa Al Jowder (A Deputy Secretary General of Haq Movement - died later in normal conditions) and Ali Rabia (another opposition leader). Interrupted: Do not mention names from our side (meaning Sunnis); I explicitly want names from your side (Shia). Mmm you don’t seem to be cooperative? Sit back! He ordered the police to connect my feet that were already tied with chains, into another long chain made of iron, pulled me up to the top of the ceiling, hung upside down, my head was down and my feet at the top, my hands behind my back with shackles and was blindfolded.
I heard the sound of a sparking electric device, I was stroked in the chest and in my feet several times, my body shook from the intensity of the electric shock and jumped in the air – the iron chains flew with me. Not only I was electrically shocked, but one of the torturers punched me with heavy blow on my face while the other was trying to strangle me using a rope. World of the death appeared in front of me, I was shouting religious verses and the more they excruciated me the more I shouted "Allahu Akbar". Suddenly the interrogator said: bring this heavy weight down. Moments and they threw me to the ground.
After long hours of interrogation, I was dragged outside while unconscious; thrown in the corridor with dozens of detainees mounted up over each other. Anyone of them passed by would kick, spit and insult us, even the Asian worker who cleaned the place participated in the abuse. When they wanted to wake me up, they spilled a bucket of water. This means to get ready to eat a fatty meal and then leave the dessert (torture) with another interrogator and other series of questions.Fakhrawi ... With me on execution chair
This brutality continued until April 9; when I was moved in another torturing room after removing the blindfold covering my eyes. The policeman threatened: you will see what is waiting for you! The room had two chairs connected to electric devices; voltages were controlled by the interrogator. What a terrifying scene! I started reading a few verses from Quran. I sat on one of chairs, my eyes were blindfolded, and a new interrogation session had began, the more the answer was not satisfactory the more the voltage was increased and subsequently the more the degree of electrical shock, my body shivered from such a horror of electricity that was passed to it.
The interrogator asked me: You know who sits on your side? He continued “This is Fakhrawi, your friend.” They just brought him. He began asking Fakrawi: Do you have a relationship with Iran? Fakhrawi answered: No, all my relationship with Iran is that I hosted a few clerics in the month of Muharram, in coordination with the Iranian Embassy in Bahrain and nothing else. We suddenly shared the suffering, felt the death according to the degree of eclectic shocks.
Suddenly, Fakhrawi became silent and the eclectic shocks stopped on me. One policeman panicky said to the other: you killed him, you killed him! I thought that Fakhrawi had fainted, but months later I knew that he had died as a result of torture. His death broke me down.Al Safriya Palace wall separates between the son of the king and Parweez
Parweez continued narrating what is left on his memory: "I was lying on the ground in the corridor, pulled to the torture room again with blindfolded eyes and my hands behind my back in shackles. The tone of the policeman seemed different as he prepared to receive an important person: The Prince, the Prince had arrived!
The sound gradually became closer and asked amusingly: Do you know who is talking to you? I kept silent while my neighbor answered: No we don’t know who you are. I realized that my neighbor was my friend Mohammed Habib Al Mekdad. The sound said again: Sure you do not recognize my voice?! Al Mekdad continued: No could not recognize it.
The sound reminded us again: I was only separated by a wall between me and you in Al Safriya Palace. “Here is Prince Nasser bin Hamad” The voice said. We did not even believe, until he held our heads and lifted our chins to the top, so that we can see him from under the blindfolded eyes.
We were shocked, a bolt out of the blue! What does the king's son do in the basement of the fortress, did not happen in history that a son of a king supervised the torture of his opponents by himself! When he made certain that we knew him, he asked quietly: Did you participate in the march that headed to Al Safriya Palace? Al Mekdad replied: Yes. Nasser: What slogans did you chant? Al Mekdad said: the people raised the slogans. Nasser: Fine, and what slogans were raised by the people? Al Mekdad: “The People Want the Downfall of the regime” and “Khalifa, Step down and Take your Hands off as People do not Want you as a Prime Minster”, and “Sunni and Shiite are brothers of this country”. Nasser asked wickedly: No, the slogan that you purposely have forgotten it! You better remember! It did not take long for Al Mekdad to reply saying: Down with Hamad.
Once Al Mekdad had finished saying the slogan, Nasser bin Hamad grabbed our heads and snapped them together, he shouted: How dare you chant for the downfall of Hamad and you are just a scum. He started abusing us, began to flog, beat and kicked us everywhere, until felt tired. He took a rest and drank water and then resumed the torture by pulling us from our hair and beards. No one else was involved in our torture and hence agony; they let him spill his rancor. He ordered the jailers to put our feet up to beat us. The torture continued for almost half a day until dawn.
At that moment, Al Mekdad continued narrating the story: "they threw me in the corridor and as usual, after the torture session the food was ready, when I began to eat I was facing the wall. I heard Parweez screaming loudly," O God, O God.” I felt with the food was bitter. Then I heard a creaking steel door open, raised my head and turned it slowly to the side. The two policemen didn’t notice my move as their eyes were just like mine fixated toward the sound, I was able to see Parweez unconscious from the torture cell. He was bare-chested, exhausted, his feet were not able to carry him, the two policemen dragged him. Another policeman poured water on him to wake him up, but he did not.
There was someone hit him from behind with a whip over his head and on his body. The two policemen wanted to throw him down the corridor, but a person commanded them to make him face the wall, I could see the torturer he was Sheikh Nasser again. He kicked Parweez strongly and his body banged into the wall, he felt on the floor unconscious. When he noticed that Parweez did not feel the beating, Nasser left.
I was wondering if Nasser ran to his father to tell him how he was loyal to him by what he did to the scum as he put it! Did the King reward his son for the invaluable services of torturing us, as the king did later when he promoted his son Nasser to "colonel" after less than two months of his visit to us?A rape attempt
Parweez took a deep breath, and continued what he described as the most difficult moments: "I was exhausted when they took me from the corridor to inside the torture room again, shoved me on the floor, one sat down on my right hand and the other on the left with my hands tied with shackles, the third one sat on my back while the fourth (an Iraqi national), tried to remove my pants, and inserted a piece of wood into my anus.
I do not know of any divine power that circulated in my veins, I rose up strongly the policemen were displaced of my body, I placed the Iraqi interrogator on the ground and got him inside my hands which were handcuffed, he kind of squeezed in between my feet and my hands, kicked him with my knees, and rolled the iron chain on his neck until I felt that he would suffocate while the rest of his colleagues were continuing to beat me and thus to save their colleague. Additional guards of more than twenty police officers rapidly entered, threw me to the floor and started jumping on my back until I felt that my back and pelvis fractured. They took me back to the cell as body remains. I was accused of a charge of resisting the security forces!Emerging from the world of death!
Parweez concluded the end of his stay imprisoned in the fortress: At the end of April, they took me to the third floor in kicks, beatings and verbal abuse. Someone else shared with me the cuffs and together they took us outside the fortress. I felt emerging from the world of the death, where I could see how my soul got out repeatedly, but someone was determined to push it strongly in my body again.
In this place, death had come over in front of me several times, they were about to rape me. Fakhrawi, how are you? Al Mekdad, I hope you're fine! I started mumbling with these sentences while we were taken out from the White Fortress [the whole building is painted in white], while blood and damage rampage its insides.
Trying to recall the event as it was, Parweez continued by saying: the car was stopped, the blindfold was taken off my eyes, I was very happy to know that the other person was Salah Al Khawaja (political activist). They took us to the Dry Dock Prison (in Muharraq Island), which was crammed with prisoners of conscience. They were full of pain. Shouted on them: “Why are you so faint with pale faces! Are you not following the right path, come on, O God; don’t ever allow the regime to believe that they have humiliated you. Such words inspired them again. Parweez and Salah Al Khawaja slept one night and at dawn, they were told: We will take you to Saudi Arabia.A prison at Saudi Arabia
Parweez continued: we were taken under tight security armored vehicles, it was a long way. They kept us in an abandoned building in solitary confinement, the cell was two meters long by one meter wide, no lamp, and we were forced to stand all the time. In this place, the mental torture was dominant. During night, they left us in the corridor and they attacked and beat us endlessly and then took us back to the cells. Some nights they sent us sniffer dogs barking fiercely and hit the doors of the cells trying to enter their legs down the door, we tried moving away as far as the end of the narrow cells to avoid the attack.
I realized that there are few who share my prison, I raised my voice deliberately praying to God. One of the neighbors in the adjacent cell said “my brother please speak loudly”. I knew he was Ibrahim Sharif (Secretary General of Wa’ad), then I heard the voice of Hassan Mushaima (Secretary General of Haq) who was on the other side adjacent to me, and on the right, Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja (well known human rights activist), Al Mekdad, Abdel Wahab Hussein (Secretary General of Al Wafa), and so on until the last leaders. Was not easy to read prayers aloud, I kept silent when I heard someone searching the source of the sound and then reverted to read when they left.Take a shower… you will be executed!
Parweez continued: we spent nearly two months without prayer or shower until the morning of June 8, 2011. The jailer opened the cell and shouted: come on, take showers now, death penalty was issued and the execution will be done in Saudi Arabia.
It is therefore the last bath, between the desire to restore the life and the willingness to die, very contradictory feelings. There were several showers separated by walls. Voices of praises and prayers interlaces with the water drops. At that moment I recalled the old good days and I read a chapter of the Holy Quran, I remembered my forbearing wife, my children, and the clamor of the Pearl Roundabout.
Once finished, we covered our bodies with towels, also were given blankets to cover our faces so as not to see each other. We were given grey clothes, dressed in and spent almost an hour of prayer and reading Chapters from the Holy Quran. The soldier shouted: You know where you are going? A death penalty was issued and you will be executed in Saudi Arabia. We got into the car with kicking and punching. It was long distance and the helicopter was flying over our heads while we were on the way to the gallows. Got inside a room, the blinds were removed from our eyes and handcuffs were disassembled; the solider afterwards said: enter the execution chamber!The psychological warfare
Parweez was confused when describing the scene: when we entered the room, it was filled with our families, oh here they are - my children, the judge is there, we did not understand what happened for a while, until we discovered that we are in a court. The judge asked to prove the presence of the defendants and each defendant was allowed to see his family for 10 minutes.
We discovered after meeting our families that we were in Bahrain and not in Saudi Arabia, and we were in “Al Quraen” military prison and the execution story was fake, yet part of the psychological warfare.
The family entered a private room where the soldier was standing outside the room, Parweez did not give the family a chance to hug him despite not knowing about him for nearly two months, he took the opportunity to show them the marks of torture in his neck and foot, opened his shirt and lifted part of his pants to show them the marks of the electric drill in the neck and foot, and the black areas due to electric shocks, and the effects of the blindfold on his eyes for two months, his voice was faint and he sat with difficulty because the torturers jumped on his back when he tried to defend himself from rape.
The first meeting was difficult; the family was distraught from seeing the strong father had become a skinny bird. Certainly the families of all detainees did not sleep that night. And what they had witnessed with their own eyes had an echo on the media, so that the torture stopped after the second trial, except for the following three: Al Mekdad, Parweez and a third prisoner called Muhammad Ismail. After that, the torture was administered to Parweez and Al Mekdad, until it stopped.Solider…Solider!
Parweez tried to explain some of his personality that was recovered in “Al Quraen” military prison: the torture was eased later, the blindfolds were taken off. They took us to a slightly wider solitary confinement. Mid night of a sultry June I shouted: soldier, soldier! The soldier was fed up with me and opened the door asking: What do you want? I said: I will lose my mind in this solitary confinement, please bring any one even a foreigner, anyone to speak with. The soldier said: Wait for the officer in the morning. I said: No! Bring me anyone to talk with now.
They brought some military prisoners from other wards of “Al Quraen” prison. It is known that this prison is dedicated to the penalized soldiers. The Asian soldiers were detained for using drugs, thus they did not figure out what was going on around them. I waited three more days until halfway through the night and knocked the door calling: soldier, soldier! The soldier opened the door; I told him that my mate prisoner was always sleeping! How about putting two of each of my neighbors together in one cell! If not done, I will continue screaming all night until morning! He ignored me; however, I stayed all night calling the soldier until he agreed to my request. We are now two persons in each cell, Abdel Wahab Hussein is sharing the same room with me and the rest were grouped in the same way.
I waited another week and started screaming again: Soldier, soldier, open the doors; the cells are too small for us. The officer came and I told him: the cell is too small for two people, how about opening the cells on each other and you can lock the main door? I successfully achieved what I wanted; then I asked the officer to allow us walk outside for a while. The officer said: What about giving you your ID card and let you go home! I laughed: great idea, I wouldn’t say no for it!
After a while, they allowed us to walk in the yard for short periods, there were military prisoners in the other buildings accused of military offenses, I passed on their cells while overlooking the back, lifted up my voice high: one-two where is Arab army! O Arab armies, where are you from helping Palestine! Where are your troops against the Zionist entity? The officer wondered and asked: what is going on? Why are you causing disturbance? I replied: I am accustomed to marches, can’t keep away from them. I then said loudly to the prisoners in the other buildings: Do not be afraid, they beat us definitely more than they did to you; I turned to the opposition leaders who were laughing. I told them: just to keep fear away from those guys.
Has the story ended? Of course not, Parweez and the other opposition detainees are still in jail. You may ask why Parweez the sixtieth and Mohmaed Habib Al Mekdad were chosen by the son of the king "Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa" to be tortured by himself? And why the King who has the judiciary power and the owner of the executive and legislative authorities has selected a figure like Mohamed Habib Al Mekdad with verdicts of almost a century (96 years)!
These are questions, which may need an expert in the psychology of the kings and the sons of kings…Footnotes:
1. Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Jawad: 65 years old, born in 1948. He lives in Sitra. He is known by "Parweez”, he has two daughters Ramla and Susan and 4 sons Ali, Hussein, Hamid and Hadi. Arrested 26 times since the sixties until now. Released last time in January 25, 2011. Re-arrested and jailed since March 22, 2011.
2. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa is the half-brother of the Crown Prince and the fourth son of the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Was born in May 8, 1987, married in September 2009 to the daughter of the Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and has a child named Sheikha Shaima (born in July 16, 2010). On June 19, 2011 the King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a royal decree promoting Nasser to the rank of colonel, has also appointed as commander of the Royal Guard of the Bahrain Defense Force, and also heads the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and the Bahrain Olympic Committee. He became even famous as a torturer after the entry of the Peninsula Shield forces to Bahrain and the imposition of the National Security Law (Martial Law). Via Bahrain TV, he has vowed to pursue all the opponents.
3. Parweez case has been documented in the report issued by the “Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry”. Refer to Annex B: Summary of Torture Allegations / Case No. 2