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"Human Rights Watch" Demands Independent Investigation into Incidents of Bahrain Central Prison

2015-05-08 - 7:28 p

Bahrain Mirror: Bahraini authorities should order an independent investigation into allegations that security forces used excessive force to quell unrest in Jaw Prison on March 10, 2015, and mistreated prisoners in the aftermath, Human Rights Watch said. Security force members or other officials found to have used unlawful or disproportionate force should be held to account, it added

In its statement on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, Human Rights Watch said that it had "spoke to three recently released Jaw Prison inmates who said they saw security forces fire teargas into prison buildings and systematically beat inmates as they cleared cells when quelling the unrest on March 10. The three alleged that following the unrest, security officials subjected prisoners, including some held on political grounds, to physical and psychological abuse and did not allow them medical treatment for their injuries, including head and leg wounds."

"The more we learn about Bahrain's response to the Jaw Prison unrest, the more troubling the picture becomes," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. "The authorities need to allow independent medical access to the prison at once and ensure their access to building 10, where the most serious abuses are alleged to have taken place."

The prisoners described the use of "teargas, birdshot, and beatings as riot police retook the three buildings, and said that prisoners had been moved outside for weeks, repeatedly beaten, doused with cold water, and forced to shout pro-government slogans. Some were taken to rooms where there were no closed-circuit TV cameras and beaten there."

"These allegations make it all the more necessary for the UN special rapporteur on torture to be promptly allowed into Bahrain to report on the treatment of detainees, some of whom have done nothing more than criticize the Bahraini authorities," Stork said.

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