3/03/2012

BAHRAIN: FreeAliAlghanmi (@FreeAliAlghanmi)

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Ali Jasim Al Ghanmi is a 26-year-old member of the police force, married with a daughter. Ali likes reading history and eating Indian food, but his passion is soccer. He joined the police in 2004 after finishing high school, where he concentrated in science. He joined because he said he used to be a scout for more than 10 years and really liked to help people, and because he wanted to serve his country. When he first joined he worked on rescue patrols and then was transferred to the security guard division. He says he had great relationships with Sunni policemen, the junior staff. Other Shiite policemen, like him, held low- ranking positions.

On February 17, after hearing that protestors were being shot by the security forces, he went to the hospital and helped the medics treating the wounded.

Dressed in uniform, he went into the crowd of protestors and announced he would no longer work for the repressive dictatorship. He went into hiding after the security forces attacked and removed the protestors from the central protest area of the Pearl Roundabout in mid-March. His family said that they then received threats that he should turn himself in. He was eventually discovered on May 4 and arrested. His family says their house was raided twice after that date anyway, and his brothers and mother assaulted.

Ali said after he was arrested he was subjected to various forms of mistreatment and torture. He was doused with water while naked in a room with the air conditioning on high. He was blindfolded and beaten with hands and sticks, denied food, water, and access to the toilet for more than two days, and abused verbally. He was sentenced to 12 years and 3 months imprisonment on January 9, 2012.

Ali has been in solitary confinement since he shouted the anti-king slogan “Down, Down Hamad!” in the prison yard on September 24, for which he is facing separate charges and yet another court hearing on March 8 for allegedly taking part in an illegal gathering.