Detained Since: December 29, 2012.
Charges: Demonstrating illegally and using violence to assault police and damage public properties.
Sentence: Ten years in prison.
Biography: Ahmed Humaidan is a renowned Bahraini photographer who is currently serving ten years in prison for his artistic work. Humaidan has won 163 photography awards from competitions in the United States, Hungary, and Serbia for his efforts to capture pictures of human rights abuses perpetrated by police and security officials in Bahrain. Unlike many other photojournalists, Humaidan preferred not to remain anonymous, and as a result, Bahraini officials targeted him.
After receiving news that he was wanted for charges of “demonstrating illegally” and “using violence to assault police and damage public properties” Humaidan went into hiding from April to December 2012; throughout this time, his family and friends didn’t know of his wellbeing or whereabouts. However, at around midnight on December 29, 15 plain clothed officers finally located and arrested him at a local shopping mall. He was held incommunicado for over 19 hours before he was able to contact his family.
On March 26, 2014, Humaidan was sentenced to 10 years in prison for participating in an attack against a police station on the island of Sitra in 2012. Fadhel Al-Sawad, Humaidan’s lawyer said that there was no substantial evidence presented against his client except for the confessions that were given under torture and information that was given by “confidential” sources. According to Humaidan’s family, he has been subject to a wide array of physical and psychological torture techniques.
Advocacy Partner: Reporters Without Borders
On the 8th anniversary of the Pearl Uprising, Rep. James P. McGovern inserted remarks into the Congressional Record calling on the government of Bahrain to release Ahmed Humaidan and other prisoners of conscience and reform policies that risk fostering extremism (February 14, 2019, Congressional Record).
A group of fifteen NGOs sent a letter to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) urging them and Formula One to visit Ahmed Humaidan and fellow detained activist Najah Yusuf in prison and to call for their immediate release (March 27, 2019, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain).