Al-Wefaq: 5,689 Victims have Documented Severe Torture since Beginning of Popular Movement

2020-06-28 - 1:59 ص

Bahrain Mirror: The Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society said that since the beginning of the popular movement in 2011 to date, those who documented severe torture and ill-treatment amounted to 5,689 victims, including women, children and people with special needs.

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Society said that the causes of torture are: coercion to obtain information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, compulsion, discrimination, and others and that the perpetrator of the act of torture has a public official identity. Meanwhile, the victim of torture is the victim himself or a person related to him. The UN Committee against Torture has confirmed in its latest report that there is systematic torture in Bahrain.

Al-Wefaq indicated that monitoring cases of torture is based on the explanation of what was mentioned in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment about the elements of the occurrence of the crime of torture. It confirmed that torture in Bahrain is practiced systematically and intentionally by the authorities, adding that there are large numbers of people who have not documented their torture due to fear or other reasons, which means that the numbers are greater than those documented.

The society pointed out that the indicator of the use of multiple patterns of torture kept rising until investigation buildings and prisons were transformed into institutions that create cruel, insulting and degrading methods of torture, while the official authorities boast about providing political immunity to those involved in torture cases.

Al-Wefaq noted that the majority of torture victims, including those on death row, were handed down harsh sentences because they had two options, either confession or death.

Al-Wefaq pointed out that the perseverance of the torturers is no longer limited to interrogations and extraction of confessions by force and coercion; there are complaints of torture and ill-treatment coming from the so-called correction and rehabilitation centers, mainly Jaw Central Prison - where 645 cases of torture and ill-treatment were monitored in 2019 only.

The society explained that, according to the testimonies of the victims or their families, there are clear indications that torture and ill-treatment have become more "professional," since the statements indicate that those involved in interrogating the victims use very painful but non-lethal methods of torture - and some of these methods leave no trace on the body - in order to hide any evidence that leads to accountability.

Al-Wefaq added that while UN rapporteurs, including the Special Rapporteur on Torture, have been prevented from entering Bahrain since 2006, the Bahraini Interior Ministry rushes to use Bahrain TV and others to organize media tours or broadcast press conferences specialized in polishing the situation of prisons, which are crowded with prisoners of conscience.

It said that some of the common types of torture are: electrocution (the most common), denial of treatment and health care, short-term enforced disappearance, sexual assaults, forced nudity, prolonged standing, kicking, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement for days, exposing the victim to very high or low temperatures, slapping and punching, deprivation of food and water, verbal abuse and sectarian insults, threats of sexual assault on the victim or his relatives, deprivation of using the toilet and bathing, beating with hands and solid objects, restraining the victim in a harmful manner, detention for hours without justification before beginning the interrogation, shooting the victim with a firearm in a way that is considered torture, denial of communication, publishing the victim's image in the media before their conviction, severe beatings, making the victim crawl on the ground, violating the right to perform religious rites in accordance with the victim's belief, using wild dogs, in addition to other unimaginable methods of torture.

Arabic Version