New Report by Amnesty Highly Criticizes Bahrain: Brutality and Torture Remains a Hallmark

2015-04-17 - 11:35 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): In a new inclusive report on Bahrain, Amnesty International cites serious accounts of torture and demonstrates how little has changed since 2011, as brutality remains a hallmark of Bahrain's security forces.

The 79-page report entitled "Bahrain: Behind the rhetoric: Human rights abuses in Bahrain continue unabated" stressed that Bahrain has failed to deliver crucial reforms to end repression.

A 17-year-old boy told Amnesty International how he was struck on the right side of his face by a tear gas canister which tore his flesh and broke his jaw while he was chased by security forces as they dispersed a procession he had joined in December 2014. He said the officer who arrested him placed his foot on his head and said: "I will kill you today".

The officers who then took him to hospital mocked him and left him screaming with pain for around half an hour before he fell unconscious. He was later released without charge only to be re-arrested during a raid by police at a later date.

Other protesters detained described being brutally beaten, tortured, and threatened so as to force them into "confessions". One said he had been struck with the claw of a hammer on several parts of his body.

Those held in pre-trial detention are also routinely tortured in order to extract "confessions". The report highlights dozens of cases of detainees brutally beaten, deprived of sleep and adequate food, burnt with cigarettes, sexually assaulted, electrocuted including on the genitals and burnt with an iron. One was raped by having a plastic pipe inserted into his anus.

"The widespread accounts of torture and violence in this report show how little has changed since 2011. Brutality remains a hallmark of Bahrain's security forces," said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International's Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"The authorities must take action to eliminate years of entrenched impunity in order to end the downward spiral of abuse in Bahrain," he added.

The report is being published days before the world gathers in Bahrain for the Formula One Grand Prix tournament this weekend (on Friday).

"As the world's eyes fall on Bahrain during the Grand Prix this weekend, few will realize that the international image the authorities have attempted to project of the country as a progressive reformist state committed to human rights masks a far more sinister truth," stressed Boumedouha.

He continues to say: "Four years on from the uprising, repression is widespread and rampant abuses by the security forces continue. Bahrain's authorities must prove that the promises of reform they have made are more than empty rhetoric."

"Hopes that the BICI commission will bring about true change have now evaporated. The authorities must end the façade that they have learned from their past mistakes and take immediate action to ensure reforms that they implement are meaningful and in line with their human rights obligations," he added.

"The notion that Bahrain respects freedom of expression is pure fiction. Where is the freedom in a country where peaceful activists, dissidents and opposition leaders are repeatedly rounded up and arbitrarily arrested simply for tweeting their opinions and reading a poem can get you thrown in jail? The authorities must release anyone detained purely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression," said Said Boumedouha.

Amnesty International also called on the international community - in particular the UK, US and EU governments - to pressure Bahrain to improve its human rights record.

Boumedouha concluded that: "The government of Bahrain must recognize that it cannot continue to count on the support of its allies if it continues to flout its most basic international human rights obligations. The authorities must swiftly bring about true human rights reform and ensure accountability for past violations."

Arabic Issue

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

comments powered by Disqus