Who’s the Officer Appointed by King Hamad as Director-General of Prisons, What Is He Known for Internationally?

2016-08-12 - 3:52 p

Bahrain Mirror- Exclusive: Who is the Colonel Yousif Al-Arabi appointed by the king on Wednesday (July 13, 2016) as Director-General of Reformation and Rehabilitation (Administration of Prisons), who will be responsible for 4,000 prisoners?

In 2010, i.e. 9 years after Bahrain's National Charter Referendum, Human Rights Watch documented the human rights situation in Bahrain and issued a report, which was a shock to the authorities and intentional public opinion since that thought Bahrain was moving on the right track towards democracy. The title of the report "Torture Redux: The Revival of Physical Coercion during Interrogations in Bahrain" was more than enough to reveal that everything going on is a game played by the Bahraini authorities, who used an expensive embroidered mask to hide the old hideous face of a regime that survived on torture, murder and crime.

According to the report, Officer Yousif Al-Arabi and others were among the prison torturers of the national security body and Criminal Investigation Department who tortured detainees using electrocution.

When the report was issued in February 2010, information was circulated about the torture and maltreatment taking place at the Ministry of Interior and various state security agencies. Thus, the security authorities attempted to change the posts of some officers involved in torturing citizens. One of the changes done by the authorities was appointing Yousif Al-Arabi, a Criminal Investigation Department major at the time, as a security consultant in Gulf Air.

Gulf Air announced that it appointed Yousif Al-Arabi as a security consultant to the Executive Chief Samer Majali, after the Ministry of Interior decided to appoint Al-Arabi for 2 years (2010-2011). The company said in a statement it circulated among the employees that "Al-Arabi has a bachelor degree in security studies and has a long experience in the field of security, safety and preventive discipline and that he was assigned by the Ministry of Interior for two years".

The 76-page "Torture Redux: The Revival of Physical Coercion during Interrogations in Bahrain" report relied on interviews with former detainees and reviews of forensic medical reports as well as courts. The report concluded that since the end of 2007, officials have repeatedly resorted to torture for the apparent purpose of securing confessions from security suspects.



"Torture is back in the repertoire of Bahrain's security services," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The return of torture is especially distressing since Bahrain showed the political will a decade ago to end this scourge."

Bahrain's reversion to these discredited practices has come with rising political tensions in 2010. Street demonstrations by young men from the country's majority Shia Muslim population protesting alleged discrimination by the Sunni-dominated government have deteriorated with increasing regularity into violent confrontations with security forces. Arrests have often followed. Security officials appear to be using painful physical techniques to elicit confessions from many of those arrested, the report added.

These techniques include electro-shock devices, suspension in painful positions, and beatings. Some of those who were detained reported that security officials threatened to kill or rape them or members of their families. Many were subjected to more than one of these practices, it further read.

The report also stressed that the use of these techniques, separately and in combination, violates Bahrain's own laws as well as its obligations as a state party to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture) and other international treaties.

Officials with the Ministry of Interior and the Public Prosecution Office, in separate meetings with Human Rights Watch, denied that security forces employed torture. They said the consistency in the accounts of the former detainees was evidence that the allegations had been fabricated.

Human Rights Watch found; however, that the accounts of abuse matched those that detainees had raised earlier in court proceedings and to their lawyers. In addition, some detainees had been held in solitary confinement at the time they first reported abuse, reducing the opportunities for them to fabricate accounts.

Most significant, the medical reports by government doctors, along with various court papers, provided the strongest corroboration of the former detainees' allegations. In one case, the court acquitted all defendants on all charges in part because it concluded - on the basis of medical reports - that the defendants had been physically coerced into confessing.

Human Rights Watch urged the government to investigate as well whether prosecutors responded appropriately to the detainees' allegations of torture or whether the prosecutors' actions made them complicit in abuse.

Based on interviews with detainees arrested in connections with case of "Hujaira", "Karzakan" and "Jidhafs" and review of the documentary record, Human Rights Watch has concluded that there is credible evidence demonstrating that the Bahraini security forces used electro-shock devices against detainees; suspended detainees in painful positions; beat detainees' feet with rubber hoses and/or batons; slapped, punched, and kicked detainees, and beaten them with implements; forced detainees to stand for prolonged periods of time; and threatened detainees with death and rape.

"Seventeen of the men also identified one or more of the officers from the CID or NSA who they claimed participated in their torture. The officers named were Major Yousif Al-Arabi, Captain Fahd Fadalah, Captain Bassam Al-Muraj, and Lieutenant Isa al-Majali of the CID and First Lieutenant Badr Al -Ghaith," the report stressed.

Human Rights Watch was able to confirm that all these men are in fact officers working for the Ministry of the Interior or the NSA.

This is Yousif Al-Arabi who was promoted by the virtue of a royal decree to be a director of prisons in Bahrain, so that families will remain worried about their detained sons and relatives. This is yet another concern as a new torturer has been appointed with no sign of improvement in the humanitarian conditions of detainees who are suffering, especially those held at Dry Dock and Jaw Prisons.

Link of HRW Report

Arabic Version    


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