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Activist and Detained Protesters at Risk in Bahrain

Amnesty – 21 February, 2012

Scores of activists were arrested on 14 February 2012 at a protest to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of the unrest in Bahrain. Dozens remain in detention and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Several were badly beaten during their arrest.

Amin Jaffar Swar (22), Mutaher Saeed Taher Ahmed (18) and Mohammed Makky (22) were arrested on 14 February 2012 from their car, in the Seif district in Manama, Bahrain’s capital. They were driving towards the GCC roundabout (also known as Pearl Roundabout), the heart of the demonstration. According to witnesses, the three
men were beaten with batons by the police during their arrest, first inside and then outside their car. The police also smashed the windows of the car. A policeman reportedly kicked Amin Jaffar Swar several times while he was lying on the floor. The three men were taken to al-Ma’aridh police station in Manama where they are currently held. An official from the Public Prosecution Office questioned them on 15 February in the police station in presence of a lawyer. According to the lawyer, marks of beatings were visible on their faces and legs.

Hundreds of people were driving and marching along the highway to join the protest but the police fired large amounts of teargas at the crowd to break it up. Naji Fateel, a human rights activist working for the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, Hassen Jaber, a blogger and Abdullah Abdulkarim al-Fardan, another activist, were among those who were caught in the teargas and then arrested. Hassan Jaber and Abdullah Abdulkarim al-Fardan were taken to al-Nu’aim police station and questioned there by an official of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and charged with ‘illegal gathering’. They were later transferred to the Dry Dock Prison in Manama, where they are currently held. Naji Fateel was sent also to al-Nu’aim police station but then transferred to a clinic within the Ministry of Interior where he was questioned by a representative from the Public Prosecution Office. His lawyer was not present during the interrogation but another lawyer who was in the same clinic representing others agreed to attend his questioning. He was also charged with ‘illegal gathering’. According to his lawyer between his arrest and interrogation he was forced to stand up for many hours and deprived from sleep. He has been given a 15 day arrest order and his family has not been allowed to visit him. …more

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