Ahmed Humaidan

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Humaidan, a freelance photojournalist, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on March 26, 2014, in a trial of more than 30 individuals charged with participating in a 2012 attack on a police station on the island of Sitra, according to news reports. The reports said three defendants were acquitted, and the rest were given three to 10 years in prison.

Humaidan was at the station to document the attack as part of his coverage of unrest in the country after anti-government protests erupted in February 2011, according to news reports. His photographs were published by local opposition sites, including the online newsmagazine Alhadath and the news website Alrasid.

Adel Marzouk, head of the Bahrain Press Association, an independent media freedom organization based in London, told CPJ that Humaidan's photographs had exposed police attacks on protesters during demonstrations. Humaidan's family said authorities had sought his arrest for months and had raided their home five times to try to arrest him, news reports said.

The High Court of Appeals upheld Humaidan's sentence on August 31, 2014, despite calls by CPJ and other human rights organizations to throw out the conviction.

In 2014, the U.S. National Press Club honored Humaidan with its John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award.

Humaidan is being held in Jaw Central Prison. Authorities limited family visits to the prison after an attempted jail break by some of the inmates in January 2017, a journalist familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, told CPJ. For seven months, all visits were banned. Since September 2017, Humaidan’s relatives have been allowed to visit, but he is denied physical contact with his wife and four-year-old son, the journalist who spoke with CPJ said.

In October 2017, Humaidan had a severe eye infection that the prison clinic was not equipped to effectively treat, the journalist said. In October 2018, the journalist told CPJ that after Humaidan visited the prison clinic five times without clearing up the eye infection, authorities transferred Humaidan to a hospital for treatment, where he received eyedrops. His condition improved, but the infections keep returning because of the lack of cleanliness in the prison, the journalist said.

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