REDRESS human rights’ lawyer Lutz Oette: yes, we found evidences on torture and ill-treatment in Bahrain

2014-02-20 - 3:54 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On the sidelines of the Third International Conference: "Bahrain: Ongoing Violations and Impunity" which was organized by The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights in collaboration with The Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, Bahrain Mirror held an interview with Lutz Oette, the lawyer in human rights who also works, since 2001, as a consultant in REDRESS International Organization which seeks justice and reparation for torture victims. Oette emphasized the severity of human rights violations in Bahrain and called for an action to accelerate the allegations and prosecutions, in order to preserve the victims’ rights.

Bahrain Mirror :What was REDRESS job’s for Bahrain? What are the reports made about this country?

Lutz Oette: REDRESS has a longstanding interest in the issue of torture in Bahrain, we’ve covered it from early on in the work of our organization, and in 2012 we went on a mission to Bahrain where we interviewed and examined together with IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims). a number of torture survivals. We found evidences of torture and ill-treatment and also spoke to a number of lawyers, human rights defenders and officers. We have issued several reports about this as well as we focused on the importance of implementation of the Independent Bassioni recommendations.

Bahrain Mirror: On the international level, what can we do with the evidences gathered by the human rights activists who went to Bahrain? Can we bring the officials in superior positions to justice?

Lutz Oette: I think there are concerns with a large number of cases of torture and ill-treatments which are documented and there have been hardly any accountability. So, no need for those in superior positions, I think it is really a very legitimate question to ask what is being done about that. It was a part of the Bassioni recommendations that there should be accountability, and that also applies to cases after Bassioni published the report. What should be done, at the international level, is to really demand from Bahrain to implement the Bassioni recommendations. It is also very important that the UN special report on torture and the other special reports are given the access to seek for themselves on the ground which extends the recommendations which it implemented, and what are the other steps Bahrain is taking to conform to its international human rights obligations because Bahrain has become a party to a great number of treaties but as long as impunity, at least, in that respect they remain in that letter.

Bahrain Mirror: What do you want to say to the world through your participation in this conference?

Lutz Oette: I think the deliberations of the last 2 days really showed that it is a problem; that accountability has still not been achieved in Bahrain. I think it is very important that we are gathering Bahraini international participants who showed common concern about what is happening, and there were also justified calls for members of the international community to become more engaged and to remind Bahrain strongly of the obligations it has. Also, it is not only something in terms of Bahrain’s obligations; it is the actual right of the victims of the torture actions waiting for justice.

Bahrain Mirror: With time passing over the evidences, would they stay beneficial?

Lutz Oette: It depends on the type of violation of course, but if we talk about torture some of the physical evidence may appear but necessarily all of it. Beating on the feet can be shown it after the event, and also the psychological symptoms or trauma, by way of medical legal reports. But, of course, it is going to be more difficult with the passage of time to prove, so, it is an important point that investigations and prosecutions should be done as promptly as possible and this is against a part of the obligations that Bahrain has on the international law, and of course against something that Bassioni report called for in its recommendations.

Bahrain Mirror: What would you like to say to the people of Bahrain?

Lutz Oette: As a human rights lawyer concerned about the issue of torture, I think it’s very important that justice done for victims for what has happened. But also, that the mechanisms are put in place: the legislations and institutions; the actual practice that prevents recurrence from that. That calls for a broader solution to establish the role of law and respect for the rights of individuals and members of communities. Certainly this is what one needs to happen eventually, because no one wants to see this cycle of violations continuing in Bahrain.

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

comments powered by Disqus