Bahrain Mirror: Marking International Day in Support Victims of Torture, which falls on June 26, former Al-Wefaq MP Ali Al-Aswad discussed how torture continues to be practiced in Bahrain more than 7 years after the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report.
In a speech he delivered in a symposium entitled "The Evolution, Practice and Legacy of Torture" in Dublin, Ali Al-Aswad said that Bahrain admitted that torture had taken place and said it would end the practice of torture. This came in response to BICI which found a number of malpractices and listed a number of key recommendations. Amongst them: torture was systematic in Bahrain and it should be ended immediately.
Al-Aswad highlighted that the Bahraini government accepted all the findings and pledged to implement its recommendations, including ending torture. However, "Seven and a half years later, as I stand here today, there is still torture in Bahrain," he noted.
"Bahrain can end torture. Since 2011 it has set up countless new institutions, made multiple other promises to the international community and spent millions on PR to try to convince the world it has ended bad practices such as torture," he stated.
All the new institutions it creates, all the money it spends on PR, it would take one simple command from the King of Bahrain to outlaw torture.
Ali Al-Aswad noted that torture can only be put to an end in Bahrain through accountability, as Sir Nigel Rodley, one of BICI members, once told him.
At the end of his speech, the former MP called on the international community "to wake up and send a clear message to Bahrain that unless it changes its ways, it will be isolated [and] there will be no accountability".