Amnesty International Concerned that Sitra Bombing Detainees Are At risk of Torture and Denied Access to Their Lawyers & Families

2015-07-31 - 1:15 ص

Bahrain Mirror: Amnesty International has stated that the Bahraini authorities "must respect human rights when investigating Sitra bombing". Amnesty called on Bahrain in a public statement issued on Wednesday (July 29, 2015) "to ensure those arrested in connection to a recent bombing are not subjected to acts of torture and other ill-treatment while in custody."

Bahraini security forces have been heavily deployed in Sitra since the announcement of the bomb blast and have carried out a number of house raids and arrests, while Bahraini opposition factions denounced the attack.

Amnesty International pointed out that it "recognizes the Bahraini authorities' duty and responsibility to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for the killing of the two policemen and injury of six others;" however, urges "the authorities to ensure those arrested are not arbitrarily detained or placed at risk of torture and other ill-treatment."

The organization also urged the authorities to ensure that the detainees "are given prompt access to a lawyer and family," and if charged, "they must be given a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty."

In many cases documented by Amnesty International, individuals arrested in connection to past explosions in Bahrain have often been tortured or otherwise ill-treated during their first days or weeks in the custody and interrogation at the Ministry of Interior's Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). Many were then tried unfairly and convicted on the basis of "confessions" under torture.

"Many of those detained, for instance, in connection to an explosion in al-Daih village that killed three policemen on 3 March 2014, complained, including in court, that they were tortured during interrogation at the CID. Their lawyers were not able to meet with any of the defendants until the first session of the trial on 30 April 2014 despite repeated requests to do so ahead of the trial," Amnesty International further stated.

The court also refused to grant lawyers full access to the evidence (video recording, pictures and witnesses) referred to in the prosecution documents, depriving them the right to equality of arms and preventing them from mounting an adequate defence or meaningfully cross-examining witnesses.

The human rights organization also expressed its concern "that many of those being detained in relation to the Sitra bombing may be denied access to their lawyers and families for at least 28 days, in accordance with 2014 amendments to the anti-terrorism law," yet stressed that this "is contrary to international human rights standards," noting that it "places them at risk of torture and other illtreatment."

Arabic Issue

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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