…from beneath the crooked bough, witness 230 years of brutal tyranny by the al Khalifas come to an end
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An Oasis for Torture – Bahrain, the Bloody Regime of Al Kahlifa

Bahrain: An Oasis for Torture
26 June, 2013 – Bahrain Center for Human Rights

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern about the ongoing systematic torture in Bahrain with full impunity for the violators. Over the past year, the BCHR has documented dozens of torture cases, inside and outside formal detention centres, from the moment of arrest and at times even after receiving a sentence. Torture in Bahrain usually occurs in the dark, during times of enforced disappearance; and due to impunity officers even videotape their victims after. Not only has no official been held accountable for torture, on the contrary, some of the violators were promoted.

In April 2013, the Government of Bahrain effectively cancelled the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Mr. Juan E. Méndez, which was schedule to take place from 8 to 15 May 2013. In an official statement, Mr. Méndez stated:

“This is the second time that my visit has been postponed, at very short notice. It is effectively a cancellation as no alternative dates were proposed nor is there a future road map to discuss.”

“The culture of impunity, and the main reason why systematic torture continues in Bahrain, extends far beyond the pro-democracy movement in 2011; the best example being Decree 56 which was issued by Hamad bin Isa Alkhalifa in 2002 granting those responsible of crimes of torture in the 90’s full amnesty. The lack of accountability locally and internationally fosters the continuation of such violations; impunity must end immediately; starting with high officials in the Government of Bahrain” – Maryam Al-Khawaja, Acting President of BCHR

It is important to note here that the cases presented are only a sample of the many cases received by the BCHR. Due to the culture of impunity many victims of torture fear retribution after speaking about their ordeal.

In addition, this report covers cases of ongoing torture. It is important to note that victims of torture have not been able to receive rehabilitation; and those who are still detained are also denied adequate medical care.
Torture during time of arrest

On 24 May 2013, Redha Abdullah Isa Al-Ghasra (25 years old) was brutally arrested after civilian cars surrounded his motorcycle. Activists and tweeps (users on Twitter) broadcasted on their twitter accounts a sound recording of someone screaming in pain, which they claimed was a voice recording of the detainee Redha Al-Ghasra while security forces were reportedly beating and torturing him on the street (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxZuVSbPeXQ). Pro-government twitter accounts published photographs of Al-Ghasra while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground, with blood on his face (see: https://twitter.com/Deertybhr/status/337845219053674496). More details on this case on http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6146.

Faisal Mansour Eid Nasser (28 years old) was arrested on 9 March 2013. He was reportedly beaten by approximately 15 security officers, punching and kicking, while he was being transported from his home to the interrogation center. He was verbally abused using vulgar language, and he was threatened with rape, as well as threats to rape his mother and sisters. This was while he was being interrogated to disclose the hiding place of a number of people who are wanted.

Torture in Detention for Confessions

During his time at the Criminal Investigations Department, Faisal Mansour was blindfolded for the entire period and he was forced to stand for long periods of time during which he was not allowed to sit down at all. To add to that, he was also deprived from sleep for approximately four nights.

Furthermore, in order to force him to confess to the charges brought against him – despite his denial – he was handcuffed from behind, then kicked with boots and beaten with hands and an object, believed to be a plastic stick, on different parts of his body. He was verbally abused using vulgar language and his religious beliefs were cursed. He was also subjected to sexual assault by unknown officers; one of the interrogators reportedly pulled down Faisal’s pants and sexually molested him by pulling his genitals; telling him to confess to the charges against him and testify that others accused participated with him, otherwise he will be subjected to rape.

One of the investigators reportedly told Faisal: “I’m going to put your name on every case, even if you did not participate in it”. Faisal Mansour, while blindfolded, was forced to sign a statement without knowing its content.

Faisal told the BCHR that during his detention at the Dry Dock prison, he was taken from his cell on 25 April 2013 to the Criminal Investigation Department again to interrogate him in a new case. He was forced to sign a ready-made statement which he was not allowed to read, under the threats of rape and beatings.

Hussein Ramadan Mohamed Shaaban (34 years old) was arrested on 23 April 2013. He was reportedly threatened that his wife would be raped at the time of his arrest if he refused to cooperate with them. He was held for 6 days at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) where he was reportedly forced to stand for the entire period without sitting at all; during which he was blindfolded. In addition, he was deprived from sleep for the whole period of his detention at the CID, and he was handcuffed from behind for long periods which caused him pain in his shoulder and back; which he still suffers from. He was reportedly threatened with rape if he refused to sign the confessions and he was subjected to continuous verbal harassment.

The Implication of the Public Prosecution

At the public prosecution, Faisal Mansour reported that the prosecutor screamed at him, threatening that if he did not confess to the charges against him he will be taken back to the Criminal Investigations Department and exposed to more beatings; reportedly adding: “I’m going to beat you while you’re here”. …more

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