…from beneath the crooked bough, witness 230 years of brutal tyranny by the al Khalifas come to an end
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Torture of political detainees, a Royal family affair in Bahrain

Austrian daily: King Hamad’s relatives torture Bahraini revolutionaries
ABNA – 22 May, 2012

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – An Austrian daily quoted Bahraini revolutionary poetess Ayat Al-Ghermezi in its Monday edition as saying relatives of Bahraini King Hamad were among the torturers of arrested protesters in her country.

Ms. Ghermezi who is in Vienna, in an interview with Courier daily seriously criticized the inhumane behavior observed against Bahraini revolutionaries in prisons of Ale-Khalifa clan.

The daily wrote: This twenty-year old Arab poetess has been among the renowned political activists during her country’s more than a year long revolution. She has therefore been tortured and kept in solitary cell.

The Courier reporter has asked Ayat, “You have been reciting your poems for the Bahraini demonstrators for more than a year. What experience do you have respectively?”

The young revolutionary Bahraini lady replied, “After reciting my poems for the demonstrators and getting home my family members suggested that I had better move to a relative’s home and begin living in hiding. On March 20th, 2011 a large number of police forces invaded our home, beat up my brother black and blue, and threatened my entire family members that they would kill everyone, beginning with my four brothers. They also warned that they would come back to find Ayat, but next time they would not be as nice as this time! My father finally gave up and summoned me home where they were.”

She added, “They arrested me and their harsh behavior began right inside the vehicle in which I was being carried to prison. I was imprisoned in Manama. Getting beaten up was in my daily schedule. I was never even permitted to sit down, or to lie down on the floor. At nights I had to lean against a wall when I was dead tired. I was forced to swallow my food portion which was extremely polluted and I was beaten up more severely if I refused to eat, and their argument was: if you want to die you had better die outside this prison.”

The Bahraini revolutionary added, “I was kept in a solitary cell all alone. I was there without ever being taken to a court, and therefore I knew I must be there temporarily. Although no one had ever asked me a single question the prison keepers were always swearing at me, using very indecent words. They said that I was a blot against the reputation of my country, because I was a Shi’a. They forced me to belittle myself and my other family members along with them using very shameful literature. On the eighth day they took me to a room as they had blindfolded me. The piece of cloth with which they had shut my eyes slipped down for a few seconds and I saw the woman who was beating me. She was one of the close relatives of King Hamad. Her name is Noor al-Khalifa. She is a close relative of the king’s wife. In that room she tortured me for a long period using electric shock till I lost conscience.”

Ayat Al-Ghermezi added, “In the prison they threatened that they would severe my tongue. They hit me severely on the head using a long and wide wooden object and many of them used to spit in my mouth.”

She said, “In June, 2011 I was finally taken to a court and sentenced to a year behind the bars, but a month later due to the pressure of the world public opinion and the insistence of the Bahraini protesters I was freed and put under house arrest. I was told to forget all I had seen and heard and threatened that otherwise they would come back and take me to the same hell! …more

May 22, 2012   No Comments

Bahrain regime beating and torture continues despite numerous reports, international calls to stop

Report: Bahraini police beat, torture detainees
By CNN – 30 April, 2012

(CNN) — Police in Bahrain regularly resort to beating anti-government protesters, despite officials’ pledges to stop such practices, a human rights group said Sunday.

A Bahraini government spokesman denied that allegation and others made in the Human Rights Watch report.

“The allegations are absurd, and unfortunately, we ask for human rights organizations not to rely on unreliable sources,” said government spokesman Abdul-Aziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.

Human Rights Watch said interviews revealed at least five instances in the past month in which police severely beat detainees — some of whom were minors, according to a report issued after representatives from the group finished a five-day visit to the island nation.
ITN reporter kicked out of Bahrain

Visible injury marks appeared to confirm details of accounts from former detainees interviewed by Human Rights Watch, the organization said.
Bahrain’s Grand Prix finishes
Tensions grow in Bahrain

Treatment of prisoners inside police stations and formal detention facilities has improved, Human Rights Watch said, and Bahrain appears to have made “rapid progress” in eliminating torture inside police stations after a committee last year recommended installing video cameras there.

But now, according to Human Rights Watch, beating and torture of prisoners is continuing at informal facilities and in secluded outdoor areas, where detainees have been taken for up to two hours before they’re transferred to police stations.

“Bahrain’s leaders need to make clear that they will investigate and punish those responsible for abuses when the cameras are off,” Human Rights Watch said. …more

April 30, 2012   No Comments

Torture in Bahrain a collaborative family affair – “blood lust, like father like son”

The ’spoiled’ son of the King: Nasser.. The torturer
25 April, 2012 – Bahrain Mirror

Bahrain mirror (Exclusive): Nabeel Rajab, President of the Center of Human Rights in Bahrain, Vice President of International Confederation of Human Rights, keeps challenging the authorities in Bahrain to prosecute those involved in the abuses and torture perpetrated on the people of Bahrain for a year.

Rajab has recently revealed an attention-grabbing step that translated into determined and continuous efforts to escalate the issue of the torture practiced, in person, by the “spoiled” son of the King Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa against a group of prisoners. One of these prisoners is the well known religious cleric Shaikh Mohammed Habib Al-Miqdad, who suffered from a nonstop torture, beatings and verbal abuse.

Rajab – on his Twitter account – mentioned that he will soon move to highlight the issues of torture practiced by Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa on the detainees and athletes for the British media and social networking, taking advantage of the presence of the King’s son in England next summer where he will attend the Olympics Games to be hosted by London’s Metropolitan in the period between July 27 to August 12 this year. The King’s son is attending the games as the President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee.

Rajab has never stopped announcing his plan to escalate this subject in the British media. Not only that, Rajab has taken further step beyond that by demanding to legally prosecute the King’s son or at the very least preventing him from entering the UK. Rajab is taking the subject extremely seriously. …more

April 24, 2012   No Comments

“Forces for Good” torture and abuse Bahraini citizens in custody

April 20, 2012   No Comments

The Torture of Al Khawaja and Obama’s Powerlessness over a “Piss Ant” Tyrant

The Torture of Al Khawaja by American-Backed King of Bahrain
By: Siun – 9 April 9, 2012 – FireDog Lake

Update: Zeinab AlKhawaja (@angryarabiya) reports that her father has been moved to the hospital where the abuse described below took place last summer. His attorney and family have not been allowed to visit or speak to him for more than two days leading his attorney ‘to fear the worst.” Additional reports suggest he is on some type of IV fluids and the possibility of forced feeding but details are unclear. Zeinab is “on her way” to a further interrogation by the public prosecutor. This new questioning follows an additional arrest and release when she went to the hospital and asked to see her father.

Last summer, the King of Bahrain funded the “independent” Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry to review human rights issues in the country. The report was praised by the King’s American friends – and presented as justification for continued American support of the monarchy.

This past November the BICI commission’s final report included the following description of Abdulhadi Al Khawaja’s arrest and detention as one of 60 case studies of “alleged victims of torture or mistreatment.” (see page 430 and following of the full report, available for download at the commission site here )

As readers here know, Al Khawaja, is close to death this weekend as he continues a hunger strike as his only remaining way to protest the monarchy’s abuses. …more

April 10, 2012   No Comments

Bahrain MOI Police fail New “Code of Conduct” Training – Still leaving marks

Bahraini security forces continue to engage in systematic torture in formal detention centers, and others informal
16 March, 2012 – Bahrain Center Human Rights

The general prosecutor is still involved in hiding the torture of detainees and does not allow their families to meet them till after the disappearance of the effects of torture and the severe beating.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights: repression in Bahrain takes new forms and methods and is continuing without stopping through the use of excessive force, torture, sexual harassment and breaking parts of the demonstrators’ bodies. …more

March 18, 2012   No Comments

Bahrain remains a torture-permitting nation


Bahrain’s foreign minister has asked the British Government to get Denis MacShane to shut up about its human rights record. Here he explains why he will not be silent

Tribune Magazine: Bahrain remains a torture-permitting nation

by Denis MacShane – 25 February, 2012 – Tribune Magazine

I am used to endless lies and criticism from the British National Party and its favourite blogger, as well as the ­Islamist ideologues who hate my work on anti-Semitism, and the offshore-owned press obsessed about Europe. But this is the first time that a government, Bahrain, has written to the British Government asking the Foreign Secretary to shut me up.

In a 17-page open letter to William Hague, Bahrain foreign minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa accuses me of making several “demonstrably misconceived” statements about the political ­situation in Bahrain without visiting the country. It is true that I have not been to Bahrain recently, but I don’t need to go to Syria or Iran or North Korea to know there are serious human rights issues in those countries.

The latest news from Bahrain remains ever more worrying. There are regular pro-democracy demonstrations which are severely repressed by the police. In a new tactic, the police are raiding individual homes and throwing tear gas canisters inside. Amnesty International reports that as many as 30 people may have been killed as they choked to death in confined spaces.

Last month, 24-year-old Yousif al-Mawaly was arrested, tortured and then dumped in the sea. Photographs of his body seen by the BBC appear to show abrasions and bruises consistent with beating.

Human Rights Watch has reported that Bahraini riot police beat a prominent human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, as he was leaving a peaceful protest last month. Rajab said that the police attacked him using their fists and batons at about 8.30pm, as he was walking toward his car. “I noticed a number of riot police behind me. They were all in uniform. They started beating me and I fell on the ground. I told them that I was Nabeel Rajab, hoping that they would stop, but they kept beating and kicking me.” …more

March 18, 2012   No Comments

Evidence of New Methods of Torture emerge in Bahrain after Tops Cops Timoney and Yates take the Reigns

The general prosecutor is still involved in hiding the torture of detainees and does not allow their families to meet them till after the disappearance of the effects of torture and the severe beating. Bahrain Center for Human Rights: repression in Bahrain takes new forms and methods and is continuing without stopping through the use of excessive force, torture, sexual harassment and breaking parts of the demonstrators’ bodies.

Bahraini security forces continue to engage in systematic torture in formal detention centers, and others informal
16 March, 2012 – Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Bahrain Center for Human Rights started several months ago and continued until the writing of this report documenting the repression and intimidation adopted by Bahraini security forces and which are of new forms and methods and unjustified in order to spread terror among the citizens who participate in marches and peaceful protests; where they recently proceeded to develop a new way of repression by insulting the victims during their arrest, and taking them to isolated places and torturing them [1]; with the aim of getting them injured as much as possible by breaking parts of their bodies. They also continued breaking into homes early mornings and extracting confessions from detainees under torture exactly as stated in the report of the Bahraini Independent Committee of Inquiry.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights has investigated many incidents of assault, which proved that the detainees were subjected to torture, sexual harassment and severe beating in number of places and buildings owned by Bahraini authorities, and that are not official detention centers or police stations. One of those places is the old municipal building located in Karzakan, to which large number of detainees of that area and the neighboring areas were taken after their arrest.

Most of the detainees who were held in those places have reported that security forces tortured and beaten them severely, causing many of them having serious injuries, fractures and bruises, before transferring them to official detention centers or throwing them in remote areas. Additionally, some of them had been threatened with rape as well as sexual harassment and other forms of insulting treatment, including attacking their religious beliefs. …more

March 17, 2012   No Comments

Torture – From Guantanamo to Bahrain

Torture – From Guantanamo to Bahrain
November 14, 2011 – By T Kelly – Exposing The Truth

“But the one person from Bahrain who fought for our freedom till the end was Nabeel Rajab from the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.”

This was part of an interview with Juma Mohammed Al Dossary, a former Guantanamo prisoner from Bahrain, after his release in 2007.

Mohammed Khalid, a pro-gov and Salafist MP, who campaigned for release of the detainees and compensating them, asked in 2005: “What about the Guantanamo prison, which is out of the sight of all rights and humanitarian organizations, where the matter could be worse than Abu Ghraib or Afghanistan?”. He said that many released prisoners “had talked about being submitted to human suffering and sexual abuse during interrogation”.

Some of the torture and abuse described by AlDossary through his lawyer included: religious abuse like cursing and insulting beliefs, being urinated on and spat on by GI’s, being burnt by cigarettes, severe beating while in extreme positions, and being sexually assaulted by female interrogators. The sexual assault was mainly to offend the men or lure them to talk.

Fast forwarding and on the other side of the Atlantic in another island hosting a US base. This is basically some of what’s happening and has been happening in Bahrain for the past 30 years. Joshua Colangelo-Bryan, a lawyer and consultant with HRW, worked with Rajab to secure the release of Bahraini Guantanamo prisoners.

He describes how the same Bahraini MPs who gave him a standing ovation rejected HRW’s findings when it came to their citizens’ claims and evidence of torture in Bahraini jails.

MP Mohammed Khalid, who stood firmly with Guantanamo’s detainees on the basis of universality of human rights, was instrumental in igniting sectarian hatred against Shia when protests erupted, and is now in the front-line campaign supporting government’s measures of mass detentions and military courts calling the protesters traitors and Iranian agents and using the most offensive anti-Shia language.

Nabeel Rajab, on the other hand, is facing a fierce propaganda campaign in an attempt to discredit him and assassinate his character accusing him of being an Iranian agent.

From a 1997 special report on torture in Bahrain to the UN Human Rights Commission:

“The methods of torture reported include: falaqa (beatings on the soles of the feet); severe beatings, sometimes with hose-pipes; suspension of the limbs in contorted positions accompanied by blows to the body; enforced prolonged standing; sleep deprivation; preventing victims from relieving themselves; immersion in water to the point of near drowning; burnings with cigarettes; piercing the skin with a drill; sexual assault, including the insertion of objects into the penis or anus; threats of execution or of harm to family members; and placing detainees suffering from sickle cell anemia (said to be prevalent in the country) in air-conditioned rooms in the winter, which can lead to injury to internal organs.”

These exact methods are being used now. Since Feb 14, 2011, four people have died in Bahraini prisons as a result of torture. The total number is more than 20 since 1971. Those recently killed in prison were: Hassan Maki, Ali Saqer, Zakaria Al-Asheeri (Journalist), & Kareem Fakhrawi (Businessman). Among the hundreds of prisoners are politicians, MPs, human rights activists, doctors, nurses, students, lawyers, journalists, news photographers, and bloggers. Severe torture and sexual abuse have been widely reported.

In an April 14 Time’s article, Joe Stork, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, expressed his concern: ”I very much fear there will be more death because there is no transparency in all this,”. He adds: “We’re not seeing where they’re being held, or their names, and it’s these kinds of conditions that make for torture and brutality and death.”

Bush’s administration was in a “war against terrorism”, in which alleged foreign fighters were flown to Guantanamo; the Bahraini Government on the other hand is in a war against its unarmed population. The situation in Bahraini prisons might be way worse than Guantanamo as Obama announced an end to torture. However, as the information in the previous report suggests or rather proves, the US government, along with that of the UK and other countries, is morally and historically responsible for what happened and what’s happening in Bahraini prisons.

On May 16th, NY Times reporter Nick Kristof tweeted: “Our close ally, Bahrain, has a consistent record of using sexual abuse of male and female detainees as a form of torture.”

The next report will deal in more detail with Sexual Abuse in Bahraini prisons. Testimonies of tens of prisoners and detainees will be presented. This is what lies beneath the fake and promoted liberal posture of Bahrain.
Bahrain: The Systematic Use of Sexual Abuse

Bahrain’s security apparatus and secret police were established by the British, and were headed by Ian Henderson, “The Butcher of Bahrain” for 30 years. The rationale is that the people of Bahrain are basically the subjects of their (the British’s) subjects (the Khalifas). Add to that, the mentality of the ruling “conquering” family who believe Bahrain is their private property (owning 30% of its land) and its people are their slaves. With naturalization of foreigners to work in the security forces, things became messier for Bahrainis. The people were not only subjected to a colonial power, and a non-compromising ruling family; but also subjected to an uneducated and ruthless foreign mercenary force. …more

March 16, 2012   No Comments

Human Resource Exploitation, CIA Wrote the Book, Democratic Oppostion Reaps the Harvest

Psychologists and Torture, Then and Now
By Laura Melendez-Pallitto and Robert Pallitto – 1 March, 2012 – FPIP

History repeats itself, Marx famously warned, first as tragedy and then as farce. In the case of U.S. torture psychologists, the ” tragedy” occurred half a century ago when CIA-funded psychological research on electroshock treatment, sensory deprivation and the like found its way into the Agency’s counterintelligence interrogation manual. The 1963 KUBARK Manual and its later iterations were used widely by U.S. intelligence and disseminated to other governments in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

The “farce” was played post-9/11, as psychologists became involved once again in aiding counterintelligence interrogators. Although some of the material in KUBARK remained in use, psychologists augmented already- existing material with newer techniques, some of which had been developed from torture resistance protocols used to train U.S. military personnel to survive capture and interrogation themselves. Thus, as Katherine Eban has reported, discoveries initially applied to help possible torture victims were later used to break interrogation subjects held in U.S. custody. Psychologists were complicit in designing and using techniques to break subjects rather than aid them, and in so doing they made a mockery of their ethical obligation to “do no harm.”

Twice, then, psychologists forged relationships with the state in which they cast ethics aside. And both times they acted with impunity.

The KUBARK Precedent
The KUBARK Manual cites Albert Biderman and other research psychologists as sources for the “scientific findings” that support its conclusions. Biderman, who died in 2003, was known for his studies of U.S. personnel captured by the Chinese during the Cold War. He examined the ways in which the Chinese military induced false confessions – often outlandish and implausible ones – from U.S. prisoners. Whatever one thinks today of the validity and cogency of that literature, the government used it to legitimize tactics and propositions that go well beyond the claims of the literature itself. KUBARK instructs interrogators to use protocols entitled, “Ivan is a Dope,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Mutt-and-Jeff.” Some of these tactics recall the stationhouse “third degree” sessions documented by the 1931 Wickersham Report on police abuse; others appear even more ad hoc and arbitrary. To some extent, the bibliographical citations to social psychology literature provide window-dressing for a how-to on coercive interrogation practices. They help to create a scientific-sounding discourse of counterintelligence interrogation.

KUBARK does not describe in detail the ways in which psychological interrogation methods (“clean torture,” as Darius Rejali calls it) are done. KUBARK merely recognizes that “chemical and electrical” methods are available (though it may be more specific in the redacted portions). To see how sensory deprivation and electroshock treatment actually work on the psyche of subjects, we must look outside KUBARK itself, at the research findings of scientists and the accounts of victims themselves. Naomi Klein interviewed one such victim who unwittingly became a research subject for Dr. Ewen Cameron of McGill University (a psychiatrist) while Cameron was treating her as a psychiatric inpatient. Cameron administered drug and electroshock therapy on his patient that left permanent, devastating injury. Many years later, she discovered the cause of her injuries when she learned of a legal settlement by the CIA paying unwitting experimental subjects for the damages they suffered. By then, she had become completely disabled as a result of her “treatment.” …more

March 1, 2012   No Comments

Bahrain Legislature makes illegal torture criminal – WTF?

Legislation okayed to criminalise torture in Bahrain
by Suad Hamada – 15 January 2012 – Khaleej Times

The cabinet has approved two key laws to implement its zero-tolerance policy towards torture as part of its commitment to fully implementing the BICI recommendations.

The first amendment to the Penal Code aims to protect persons who claim to be tortured or other forms of inhumane treatment and the second ensures these complaints are swiftly investigated and prosecuted by the attorney-general rather than police.

These amendments come on top of previous legislation, approved by the cabinet in October last year that brings the law into full compliance with international human rights standards. Under these amendments to the Penal Code, the crime of torture is no longer limited to acts of inflicting severe pain used to extract a confession, as was earlier the case, but rather criminalises all acts of torture. Further, the amendments provided that there is no time-limit to investigating and prosecuting persons for torture. Finally, the amendments ensure that the crime of torture attracts severe penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offence. …source

January 17, 2012   No Comments

Demonstrators severly beaten by Security Forces

Three demonstrators were subjected to severe torture after being arrested by Bahraini security forces
December 24th, 2011 – BYCHR

The Bahraini security forces yesterday (December 24, 2011) detained three demonstrators, and were subjected to brutal torture.

The Security forces used batons and wooden sticks.

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) interviewed them yesterday.

Additional details:

Dozens of protesters took part in the march (Village of Karzakan).At 5 pm, security forces arrested three protesters.

Security forces detained them in a building belonging to the Ministry of the Interior.

Had been tortured for two hours and then were released.

Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) expresses its deep concern due to torture of demonstrators and demanded an immediate investigation into these allegations. …source

December 26, 2011   Comments Off on Demonstrators severly beaten by Security Forces

Bahrain Tortured Activists in Deadly Crackdown – No mention they are now caged

November 23, 2011   No Comments

Bassiouni reveals Bahrains great hidden secret, “torture going on for last two hunderd years is systematic” – the Charade goes on…

Bahrain rights probe head says torture systematic
Tue Nov 1, 2011- Reuters secret

DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain said on Tuesday it would push ahead with parliamentary reforms it hopes will end unrest in the Gulf Arab country in an announcement that came a day after the head of a rights commission said he had found evidence of systematic abuse.

The justice minister said constitutional amendments based on the results of a national dialogue launched this year to discuss reforms in the island kingdom would be presented to parliament after the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which falls next week.

The statement came a day after the head of a fact-finding mission set up to investigate allegations of human rights violations in Bahrain during months of unrest said he now believed torture had been a systematic, though limited, policy.

The commission is due to present its final report to King Hamad on November 23. Several months ago Cherif Bassiouni had said he did not believe maltreatment was systematic, comments that provoked an angry reaction from majority Shi’ites in the Sunni-run kingdom.

“It is not possible to justify torture in any way, and despite the small number of cases, it is clear there was a systematic policy,” Bassiouni said in an interview with Egyptian daily Almasry Alyoum on Monday.

“I investigated and I found 300 cases of torture and I was helped in that by legal experts from Egypt and America.”

Bahrain crushed a pro-democracy protest movement earlier this year which was led mainly by Shi’ites, saying the uprising was sectarian in motive and backed by Iran.

Around 40 people have died, more than 1,000 detained and thousands lost their jobs in the unrest, which has continued despite the reforms promised by the national dialogue.

Bahrain invited an independent panel of high-profile international lawyers to look into protests and crackdown. …more

November 2, 2011   No Comments

Bahrain: ill-treatment and torture threaten the lives of leaders

Bahrain: ill-treatment and torture threaten the lives of leaders
Bahrain Freedom Movement – 20/10/2011

Fears for the lives of the opposition leaders jailed for their opinion and political demands have grown in the past two weeks after reports of criminal behavior by the Al Saud and Al Khalifa security forces were reported.

The case of Hassan Mushaima, the ledear of Haq Movement, has been of special concern due to lack of treatment to his cancer ailment. Last year he was treated at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London and was completely cleared of cancer. This was concluded by his doctor after a PET scan confirmed that all traces of cancer had disappeared. However, the ill-treatment he received after his arrest last March and the lack of proper medical care had led to serious concerns about his condition. He had been given three doses while blindfolded the nature of which is not known. His condition deteriorated for a while and his real condition now is unknown. International human rights bodies are urged to take the cases of Bahraini detainees seriously, especially those of Mr Hassan Mushaima and Mr Abdul Wahab Hussain who also has been ill-treated despite his serious illness in the nervous system.
[Read more →]

October 23, 2011   No Comments

Tortured Teacher Rearrested – for every voice detained one hunderd more will speak up against your regime al Khalifa

October 18, 2011   No Comments

Bahraini Opposition Figure Discloses Al-Khalifa Torturing Techniques

Bahraini Opposition Figure Discloses Al-Khalifa Torturing Techniques against Revolutionaries
8/29/2011 1:26:17 AM

LONDON (BF)- Ali al-Mashima’, the son of Bahrain’s renowned opposition leader Hassan al-Mashima’, said various torturing techniques are used in the al-Khalifa prisons to extract information and punish the revolutionary forces, and revealed that Bahrain’s prince has a direct role in the torturing and interrogation of the detainees.

“Nasser, the son of the Bahraini king is involved in the torturing of the detainees and this has been revealed and proved to us,” Ali al-Mashima’ told BF on Sunday.

He also reiterated that Sheikh Mohammad al-Meghdad and Sheikh al-Mahrous, two of the opposition leaders, have confirmed the presence of Nasser al-Khalifa in the process of their interrogation and torturing.

Bahrainis have been waging protest rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for over 40 years.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states were dispatched to the tiny kingdom on March 13 to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more arrested in a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain, home to a huge American military installation for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf.

Rights activists in Bahrain have repeatedly said that the government’s harsh tactics and intimidation against opposition forces cannot smother the popular uprising in the Persian Gulf country.

People are being tortured, kidnapped, sexually harassed and assaulted, houses being stolen and raided, villages being raided, and worshipping places are being demolished, the human rights activists reported.

Also, the Muslim Women Movement in a recent statement protested at the brutal and cruel behavior of the Bahraini regime towards women in the country, and revealed that the Al-Khalifa regime has imprisoned innocent pregnant women in horrible dungeons.

“They keep pregnant women in terrifying prisons, martyr their husbands under torture and attack people’s homes at night and create panic and horror,” the statement said in April, addressing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moo. …source

September 7, 2011   No Comments

Torture of Bahrain’s Detained Political Prisoners – translation not really needed

September 7, 2011   No Comments

Installation of mechanisms for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in Bahrain

Installation of mechanisms for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment
Public submission to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry – Geneva, August 2011 – APT Association for Prevention of Torture

Background

The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) is an independent non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, that specializes in the prevention of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. The APT has been working with the Government of Bahrain and Bahraini NGOs from 2008 until June 2010 on raising awareness about the prevention of torture and ill-treatment, in particular in the context of follow-up to commitments and pledges that Bahrain has taken in the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process (UPR) in 2008. Namely, the UPR Steering Committee had invited the APT to conduct two trainings on the prohibition and prevention of torture for the Bahraini judiciary and law enforcement in May 2009 and in June 2010.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) is mandated to investigate and report about the events that occurred in February and March 2011 and to make recommendations on providing justice and ensuring non-repetition. The BICI can thus, inter alia, make “recommendations concerning the institutionalization of mechanisms designed to prevent the recurrence of similar events” (Royal Decree No. 28 of 2011, §10) Based on APT’s mandate and expertise on prevention, this public submission will focus on suggesting measures and mechanisms to prevent torture and other ill-treatment. …more

August 25, 2011   No Comments

Torture in Bahrain Aided by Nokia Siemens

Torture in Bahrain Aided by Nokia Siemens
By Vernon Silver and Ben Elgin – Aug 22, 2011

The interrogation of Abdul Ghani Al Khanjar followed a pattern.

First, Bahraini jailers armed with stiff rubber hoses beat the 39-year-old school administrator and human rights activist in a windowless room two stories below ground in the Persian Gulf kingdom’s National Security Apparatus building. Then, they dragged him upstairs for questioning by a uniformed officer armed with another kind of weapon: transcripts of his text messages and details from personal mobile phone conversations, he says.

If he refused to sufficiently explain his communications, he was sent back for more beatings, says Al Khanjar, who was detained from August 2010 to February.

“It was amazing,” he says of the messages they obtained. “How did they know about these?”

The answer: Computers loaded with Western-made surveillance software generated the transcripts wielded in the interrogations described by Al Khanjar and scores of other detainees whose similar treatment was tracked by rights activists, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its October issue.

The spy gear in Bahrain was sold by Siemens AG (SIE), and maintained by Nokia Siemens Networks and NSN’s divested unit, Trovicor GmbH, according to two people whose positions at the companies gave them direct knowledge of the installations. Both requested anonymity because they have signed nondisclosure agreements. The sale and maintenance contracts were also confirmed by Ben Roome, a Nokia Siemens spokesman based in Farnborough, England.
The Only Way

The only way officers could have obtained messages was through the interception program, says Ahmed Aldoseri, director of information and communications technologies at Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. While he won’t disclose details about the program, he says, “If they have a transcript of an SMS message, it’s because the security organ was monitoring the user at their monitoring center.”

The use of the system for interrogation in Bahrain illustrates how Western-produced surveillance technology sold to one authoritarian government became an investigative tool of choice to gather information about political dissidents — and silence them.

Companies are free to sell such equipment almost anywhere. For the most part, the U.S. and European countries lack export controls to deter the use of such systems for repression.
Dangerous Products

“The technology is becoming very sophisticated, and the only thing limiting it is how deeply governments want to snoop into lives,” says Rob Faris, research director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Surveillance is typically a state secret, and we only get bits and pieces that leak out.” …more

August 22, 2011   No Comments

UK parliamentary panel calls for ‘end to torture and politically motivated arrests’ in Bahrain

UK parliamentary panel calls for ‘end to torture and politically motivated arrests’ in Bahrain
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 – By RAY MOSELEY – Al Arabiya

A British parliamentary committee called on Wednesday for immediate action to ensure an end to torture and politically motivated detentions in Bahrain and accused Iraq of widespread human rights abuses, including torture and poor conditions in prisons.

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee also said it plans to launch in inquiry in the autumn concerning aspects of British foreign policy and the Arab Spring.

In a report on human rights around the world, the committee said events of the Arab Spring should remind the Foreign Office that there are risks for the United Kingdom in failing to take a stronger and more consistent stance against rights violations by foreign regimes.

It said the committee was less confident than the Foreign Office that there is little conflict between Britain’s simultaneous pursuit of commercial interests and improved human rights standards abroad.

The Foreign Office, it recommended, should take a more robust and consistent position on human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa. It said the Foreign Office should have treated Bahrain as a “country of concern” in its 2010 annual human rights report.

The committee welcomed the Bahrain government’s establishment of a commission to investigate recent events involving protestors but said: “We remain concerned that immediate action is needed to ensure an end to torture and politically motivated detentions.”

Human rights, it said, should be at the heart of Foreign Office work in implementing its so-called Arab Partnership program. The government recently announced a four-year, £110 million partnership fund to support political reforms, give economic aid and carry out public finance reforms. …more

July 22, 2011   No Comments

Where are Independent International Investigators – none appointed by King Hamad. Who prosecute the crimes of torture – not King Hamad

Bahrain security forces ‘tortured patients’
By Patrick Cockburn – Friday, 22 April 2011

Bahrain’s security forces stole ambulances and posed as medics to round up injured protesters during a ferocious crackdown on unarmed demonstrators calling for reform of the monarchy, an investigation by a rights group reveals today.

The first major report on repression of the medical profession during the country’s crisis details how a doctor was abducted during an operation and injured patients lying in hospital were tortured and threatened with rape.

The investigation by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) followed a report by The Independent yesterday detailing threats faced by medical staff who treated victims of the repression. More than 30 medics have been taken away by security forces and have had little or no contact with their families.

The report said it found that security forces targeted Shia doctors in particular. The crackdown has created such a climate of fear that wounded people were too frightened to go to hospital to seek treatment.

The Bahraini monarchy responded to calls for reform by massed demonstrations starting on 14 February by calling in 2,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Over the next two days, Bahraini security forces, backed by the Saudis, drove protesters from the streets, made arbitrary arrests of at least 500 people, systematically tortured detainees and sacked anybody who had shown sympathy for protests.

The group’s investigators said they received witness evidence that security forces stole at least six ambulances. “Police forcibly removed ambulance medics from the vehicles, made them remove their uniforms at gunpoint, and then posed as medics, reportedly to get closer to injured protesters to detain them,” the report said. It also related how “armed security forces abducted Dr Ali El-Ekri from the operating room while he was performing surgery at Salmaniya Hospital on 17 March.”

Patients and detainees have been targeted according to the report which says that methods used against them include “torture, beating, verbal abuse, humiliation, and threats of rape and killing.”

In one case a Bahraini called Ali was shot in the face with bird shot and was taken while unconscious to Salmaniya hospital in the capital Manama where he remained for five days. On his second day there “three armed security forces handcuffed Ali and a dozen other wounded men behind their backs with plastic wrist ties and began to beat them.”

Ali and the other patients were thrown from their beds onto the floor where they lay face first and were then dragged, leaving trails of blood, into a hallway of the hospital. An Indian nurse told the security men: “Don’t hurt them. They are our patients.” …more

July 19, 2011   No Comments

Remembering the CIA’s Chile 1973 – the daunting task of holding torturers accountable

Remember 1973. Hold Torturers Accountable.
Americas, Amnesty Members, Torture, USA | Posted by: The Editors, July 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM
By Kalaya’an Mendoza, Field Organizer for Amnesty Western Region

On July 15th a group of activists from Amnesty International USA and Survivors of Torture International held a protest on board the Chilean vessel “La Esmeralda” as it docked in San Diego Harbor.

Activist Hannah Bogen in front of La Esmeralda in San Diego Harbor.

In 1973, after former Chilean General Augusto Pinochet seized power in a military coup, the ship served as an interrogation center for political prisoners. Survivors described torture that included beatings, electric shocks and sexual assault.

Currently, the Esmeralda is traveling around the Americas acting as a roving ambassador for Chile on a mission of “goodwill.” The crew invited happy families, wide-eyed tourists and, unbeknownst to them, a small group of human rights activists ready to unfurl signs on board that read: “Remember 1973. Hold Torturers Accountable.”

This protest follows the recent decision by a Chilean judge to drop charges against most of those implicated in the historic case of a priest believed to have died aboard the Esmeralda in 1973. Father Michael Woodward was arrested in September of that year, and taken to the Esmeralda, where he was interrogated and tortured. He was pronounced dead in a naval hospital six days after his arrest, but his body has never been recovered.

Twenty-nine former naval and police officials were initially indicted in the case. Last week, charges were dropped against nineteen of them. The remaining former low-ranking officials facing charges are now being prosecuted only for Father Woodward’s abduction, rather than for his torture and disappearance, which are crimes under international law. Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty International’s Deputy For the Americas, sums it up:

“It is bitterly ironic that the Esmeralda is still going from international port to international port as a so-called ambassador for Chile, even as those involved in this infamous case of torture below its decks seem to be getting away with murder.”

Amnesty activists boarded the ship on behalf of the survivors and victims of the torture that was committed beneath its decks over 30 years ago. We wanted to remind the Chilean government of their responsibility to ensure that all those responsible for these heinous crimes, including those who gave the orders, are brought to justice. You can watch video footage of our protest here.

No matter where “La Esmeralda” goes, we shall follow. …source

July 19, 2011   No Comments

Footballers marked for torture, detention by al Khalifa’s brutal repression

Football stars tortured for joining protest, say families
Hugh Tomlinson Dubai – July 8 2011 12:01AM

Bahraini footballers, including stars of the national team, were tortured while in custody during a crackdown on anti-government protesters this year, The Times has learnt.

The testimony given to The Times directly contradicts assurances given to Fifa, football’s governing body, by the Bahrain Football Association that no players had been suspended or mistreated.

In fact, friends and relatives said that a number of players were subjected to beatings in prison after they were arrested for taking part in a demonstration against the ruling Al-Khalifa family in March. Other sportsmen have told of long interrogations and ritual humiliation in jail.

The victims included Aala Hubail, a striker, his brother Mohammed and the goalkeeper Ali Saeed, all members of the Bahraini football squad.

Sitting in a community centre in the Shia village of Sitra, near the capital, Manama, they were too afraid to speak about their treatment and would say only that they did not know if they would be allowed to play football again. The Hubail brothers had had their heads shaved. Mohammed had bruises on his feet.

Friends and relatives said that the men had been threatened with further abuse if they spoke out, but gave details of what they knew of the men’s treatment in jail. “The first two weeks after they were arrested were the worst. They were beaten all the time. They still have marks on their bodies,” said one close relative, who did not want to be named.

Bahrainis are obsessed with football and their players are idolised alongside the international stars of the game. Aala Hubail played a vital role in Bahrain’s best showing at an international tournament, when the team came fourth in the 2004 Asian Cup. He was the tournament’s joint top scorer with five goals. …more

July 11, 2011   No Comments

Footballers corroborate torture by hired security forces will imprisoned

Bahrain’s soccer stars tortured in custody
The Times – July 09, 2011 12:00AM

BAHRAINI footballers, including stars of the national team, were tortured while in custody during a crackdown on anti-government protesters this year, The Times has learnt.

The testimony given to The Times directly contradicts assurances given to FIFA, football’s governing body, by the Bahrain Football Association that no players had been suspended or mistreated.

In fact, friends and relatives said a number of players were subjected to beatings in prison after they were arrested for taking part in a demonstration against the ruling al-Khalifa family in March.

Other sportsmen have told of long interrogations and ritual humiliation in jail. The victims included A’ala Hubail, a striker, his brother Mohammed and goalkeeper Ali Saeed, all members of the Bahraini football squad.

Sitting in a community centre in the Shia village of Sitra, near the capital, Manama, they were too afraid to speak about their treatment and would say only that they did not know whether they would be allowed to play football again. The Hubail brothers had had their heads shaved. Mohammed had bruises on his feet.

Friends and relatives said the men had been threatened with further abuse if they spoke out, but gave details of what they knew of the men’s treatment in jail.

“The first two weeks after they were arrested were the worst. They were beaten all the time. They still have marks on their bodies,” said one close relative, who did not want to be named.

When the brothers appeared in court, military police officers on duty went up to shake their hands, some asking for autographs.

“But the men who were beating them were not Bahraini. They didn’t care who they were,” said a friend of the players. “These men are loved by the people, Sunni and Shia. You are British: imagine David Beckham gets arrested and tortured. It’s unthinkable.” …more

July 9, 2011   No Comments