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  • 03/09/15--07:46: Bahrain: Media Coverage 2015
  • Since the Bahrain revolution in 2011, the government crackdown on Bahraini citizens and human rights activists has continued over the years. The list below compiled by the BCHR team gives an overview of the media coverage  of major newspapers reporting on Bahrain's human rights situation since the beginning of the year 2015.

    Bahrain Human Rights Updates

    Coverage by the Media and NGOs Around the World

    The Independent

    02.03.2015

    Hussain Jawad's detainment and torture highlights Britain's shameless stance on Bahraini rights

    Liberation (FR)

    02.03.2015

    John Legend à Bahreïn : un concert polémique

    New York Times

    27.02.2015

    John Legend Rejects Calls to Cancel Bahrain Show Over Rights Abuses

    The Huffington Post

    27.02.2015

    Top 5 Things John Legend Should Know About Bahrain

    L’ orient le jour (FR)

    26.02.2015

    Bahreïn: Amnesty appelle au respect des libertés publiques

    Il Fatto Quotidiano (IT)

    26.02.2015

    Bahrain: i tweet di Nabeel Rajab e l’iprocrisia della comunità internazionale

    Press TV

    25.02.2015

    Saeed Shehabi: Bahrain judiciary laughingstock

    Eureka Street

    22.02.2015

    Britain's Bahrain bid triggers human rights alert

    Press TV

    21.02.2015

    Bahraini forces attack anti-regime protesters

    The Wall Street Journal

    18.02.2015

    In Bahrain, Arab Spring Hopes Are Freezing Over

    World Organization Against Torture

    18.02.2015

    Arrest and ill-treatment of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights

    El Periodo (ES)

    17.02.2015

    Los osos de peluche: símbolo de las protestas en Bahrein

    Middle East  Eye

    16.02.2015

    Bahraini human rights activist detained, family claim risk of torture 

    Press Tv

    16.02.2015

    Almost 50 Bahrainis injured in recent protests: Al-Wefaq

    Amnesty International

    16.02.2015

    Bahrain: human rights activist arrested, risks torture

    I24news

    14.02.2015

    Protests set to mark four years after Bahrain uprising

    Mail on Line

    14.02.2015

    Bahrain police fire tear gas as protests mark uprising

    Aljazeera

    14.02.2015

    Protests mark fourth anniversary of Bahrain uprising

    Liberation (FR)

    14.02.2015

    Bahreïn: la police disperse une manifestation de l’opposition chiite

    The World Post

    14.02.2015

    Bahrain Protesters Rally On Anniversary Of Crushed Uprising

    Routers

    11.02.2015

    Bahrain puts off rights activist's appeal hearing to March 4

    The Hill

    11.02.2015

    Washington's shaky bet on Bahrain

    The Guardian

    09.02.2015

    We are human rights defenders, but Bahrain says we’re terrorists

    Le Monde (FR)

    09.02.2015

    Bahreïn : fin de partie pour la chaîne saoudienne Alarab

    Le Courrier Strategique (FR)

    06.02.2015

    Critiques sur le recours au retrait de la nationalité

    Shiite News

    05.02.2015

    UN experts urge release of Bahrain’s Salman

    W.A.M.

    05.02.2015

    Saudi King discusses regional and international issues with Qatari Emir, Bahraini King

    UN News Center

    04.02.2015

    UN rights experts urge Bahrain to release arrested opposition leader

    Gulf News

    04.02.2015

    Bahrain rejects Iran’s interference in domestic affairs

    Amnesty International

    04.02.2015

    Document - Bahrain: Stop arbitrarily rendering citizens stateless

    The Wall Street Journal

    02.02.2015

    Bahrain News Channel Ceases Broadcasting After Opposition Interview

    International Federation for Human Rights 02.02.2015 103 MEPs calls for dropping the charges against Nabeel Rajab

    The Independent

    02.02.2015

    Bahraini censors take new TV station off air on its first day

    El País (ES)

    02.02.2015

    El cierre de AlarabTV revela la falta de libertad de expresión en Bahréin

    Reuters

    02.02.2015

    Bahrain-based satellite channel off-air a day after starting

    BBC News

    31.01.2015

    Bahrain revokes the nationality of 72 people

    Liberation (FR)

    31.01.2015

    Bahreïn: 72 citoyens déchus de leur nationalité pour violences

    RTL

    31.01.2015

    Bahreïn : 72 citoyens déchus de leur nationalité

    The New York Times

    31.01.2015

    Bahrain: 72 People Are Stripped of Their Citizenship

    The Washington Post

    31.01.2015

    Bahrain revokes citizenship of IS group ideologue

    The Independent

    31.01.2015

    Exiled Bahrain activist who protested at Windsor Horse Show among 72 to have citizenship revoked

    Le Monde (FR)

    28.01.2015

    A Bahreïn, le premier opposant chiite en procès

    L´Orient Le Jour (FR)

    28.01.2015

    Bahreïn: le chef de l'opposition chiite nie avoir tenté de changer le régime

    The Guardian

    28.01.2015

    Bahrain’s main opposition leader on trial for plotting coup

    Amnesty International

    28.01.2015

    Document - Bahrain: Drop charges against leading opposition figure: Sheikh ‘Ali Salman

    The Washington Post

    28.01.2015

    Bahrain opposition leader denies charges as trial opens

    NRK Norway

    27.01.2015

    Menneskerettighetsaktivist mener kronprins Haakon er dobbeltmoralsk

    NRK (DK)

    27.01.2015

    Menneskerettighetsaktivist mener kronprins Haakon er dobbeltmoralsk

    The Verge

    25.01.2015

    A Spy in the Machine

    La Presse (CA)

    25.01.2015

    Ces dictateurs qui s'arment au Canada

    Middle East Monitor

    24.01.2015

    Bahrain: On the outside looking in

    RT TV

    23.01.2015

    Nabeel Rajab: We may criticize RT, but we should respect their freedom of expression

    APA Information Agency

    22.01.2015

    Court sentences nine Bahrainis to life in prison

    US Dept. of State

    22.01.2015

    Daily Press Briefing

    Amnesty International

    22.01.2015

    Document - Bahrain: Further information: Bahraini activist released: Nader Abdulemam

    HRW

    22.01.2015

    Dispatches: UK Credibility on Bahrain Shot to Pieces

    L’orient Le Jour (FR)

    21.01.2015

    15 ans de prison pour 3 personnes accusées d'avoir mené une attaque - L'Orient-Le Jour

    DW

    21.01.2015

    Bahrain, die Menschenrechte und der "Islamische Staat"

    Le Monde (FR)

    20.01.2015

    Bahreïn : un militant des droits de l'homme condamné à la prison pour des tweets

    DW (DE)

    20.01.2015

    Sechs Monate Haft für einen Tweet

    BBC News

    20.01.2015

    Nabeel Rajab: Bahrain’s Activist Sentenced for Tweets

    The Huffington Post

    20.01.2015

    Nabeel Rajab, Bahraini human rights activist, jailed for tweet

    Press TV

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain Shia activist sentenced to 6 months in jail for tweets

    The Telgraph

    20.01.2015

    Philip Hammond praises improvements in Bahrain's human rights record

    Le Monde

    20.01.2015

    un militant des droits de l'homme condamné à la prison pour des tweets

    TT

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain verurteilte schiitischen Aktivisten zu sechs Monaten Haft

    Rtl

    20.01.2015

    Bahrein: Sechs Monate Haft für Menschenrechtsaktivist

    BBC News

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain Shia opposition chief Ali Salman to stand trial

    The Guardian

    20.01.2015

    Bahraini activist sentenced to six months in prison for ‘offensive tweet’

    Amnesty International

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain: Six month sentence for Nabeel Rajab blow to freedom of expression

    HRW

    16.01.2015                   

    Bahrain: Drop Twitter Charges Against Rights Advocate

    World Organization Against Torture

    16.01.2015

    Bahrain: Press Release: Court Should Drop Spurious Charges Against Nabeel Rajab on 20 January

    Index on Censorship

    15.01.2015

    Tell Bahrain to Drop Charges Against Activist over Tweet, Demand Human Rights Organizations

    The Guardian

    15.01.2015

    Saudi Arabia and Bahrain: UK arms sales trump human rights

    Amnesty International

    07.01.2015

    Document - Bahrain: Sentenced to death after unfair trial

    Amnesty International

    06.01.2015

    Document - Bahrain: Release leading opposition figure

    The New York Times

    02.01.2015

    Channel in Bahrain Goes Silent After Giving Opposition Airtime

     
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    Bahrain Centre for Human Rights expresses its concern over the fate of Jaafar Jasim al-Sheikh, a Bahraini victim of enforced disappearance in Jordan. He is a student at Yarmouk University, and was arrested over 15 days ago – no information as to his location and health.

    According to information BCHR has obtained, the Jordanian security services arrested Jaafar al-Sheikh with four of his friends living in Bahrain on 19 February 2015. They confiscated his electronic equipment, according to his relatives. The detainees were released on 24 February 2015, apart from Jaafar who remains detained. The detainees were asked about Jaafar’s activities and about whether he had received weapons training in Iraq. They were also asked about al-Sheikh Ali Salman, director general of the Islamic Wefaq Organisation, who is currently detained in Bahrain. In addition, they were questioned about a number of people who are wanted in Jordan.

    Jaafar al-Sheikh’s family contacted the Bahraini embassy in Jordan as well as the Bahraini Foreign Ministry about the fate of their relative, but they did not receive a reply. Jaafar al-Sheikh had previously been detained for a month by the Bahraini authorities in August 2013, and was sentenced to 6 months in prison on charges of unlawful assembly. The sentence was handed down after he had left Bahrain to study at university in Jordan.

    BCHR expresses its extreme concern for the safety of the detainee Jaafar al-Sheikh, who has not been allowed to contact his family or a lawyer. The location of his detention is not known exactly.

    It is unclear whether the arrest was carried out at the request of the Bahraini authorities. It would not be the first time that the Bahraini authorities pursued opposition activists by taking advantage of the transnational security space. They have previously supplied the international police with incorrect information – Sadeq al-Shaabi was subject to forced disappearance and torture after Omani authorities handed him over to Bahrain. Similarly, Ali Haroun was beaten and tortured during and after his forced return from Thailand.

    Based on the above, BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the European Union, as well as all other close allies and relevant international organizations, to put pressure on the governments of Jordan and Bahrain to:

    • Immediately disclose the fate of Jaafar al-Sheikh and allow him to contact his family and his lawyer.
    • Free Jaafar al-Sheikh and all other detainees accused of charges to do with political activism for freedom and democracy immediately and without conditions.
    • Put an immediate stop to the practice of forced disappearance, and sign up to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
    • Put an immediate stop to the practice of using torture as a method of obtaining confessions, and provide guarantees of safety of detainees.
    • Bring to justice all those connected to the practice of torture, including those in senior positions who ordered or supervised the torture.
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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) publish today a joint report on government discrimination against Shia muslims in Bahrain. See below, an excerpt from the foreward of the report and link to the full report.

    The following report conclusively shows that the government has historically and is still carrying out a systematic policy of discrimination against the Shia of Bahrain. It presents itself in two volumes; this first volume focuses on state violence against Shia actors, the disclusion of Shia from the political process, and government discriminatory acts against the Shia religious establishment itself. By carrying out acts of violence against Shia protesters, keeping Shia removed from actual political power, and directly targeting the Shia religious establishment, the government has succeeded in not only subjugating over half of its population, but also in motivating fringe elements of Shia society into violence, thereby justifying a self-authored sectarian narrative. In order for Bahrain to reverse course and restabilize, the government will need to fully re-examine its policies regarding the Shia with the aim of better inclusiveness and respect for the human rights of all its people.

    Read the full report here, or click on the image below

     

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    (Reuters) - Bahraini security forces tear-gassed and beat inmates at a prison on Tuesday while trying to quell clashes that erupted during family visits, a local human rights group said, causing some injuries among the detainees. The Gulf Arab state has remained prone to political strife since a failed uprising in 2011 by the Shi'ite Muslim majority demanding reforms and a bigger share in government. Hundreds of people, mostly Shi'ites, have been jailed for participating in illegal protests or involvement in attacks on security forces.

    Nader al-Salatna, acting president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human rights, said the disturbance at Jaw prison was sparked by an assault by security guards on family members trying to visit relatives held at the remote facility, located south of the capital Manama."This caused clashes between prisoners and police, in which tear gas and rubber bullets were used," Salatna told Reuters. The Interior Ministry of the Sunni Muslim-ruled monarchy said families vandalized and damaged the building and assaulted police when they were denied a request to visit relatives."Police restored order, arrested those involved and referred the case to the relevant authorities," the ministry said in a message posted on its Twitter account. Social media messages reported that at least two inmates, identified as Ali Hussein Abdel-Nabi and Jameel Abdel-Ghani from the village of Shahrakan, were "severely beaten" by police.

    Pictures posted on social media showed a person with a bandaged head and a man with a bleeding arm that seemed to have been hit by blows. Other photos showed young men standing in a room with overturned furniture or strewn with plastic bags. It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the photographs, or where they were taken.

    Jaw prison is the main facility for hundreds of people jailed over participation in anti-government protests or political violence, or involvement in armed attacks on security forces or civilians.  In 2013, at least 40 Bahraini prisoners were hurt when security forces used batons, tear and pepper gas and stun grenades against inmates protesting over their conditions. Bahrain, a small island state sandwiched between Shi'ite power Iran to the northeast and allied Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia to the south, is strategically important to the West as it hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

     

    Click here to read the full article.

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) is gravely concerned about the ongoing deterioration of the Internet freedom situation in Bahrain. On the occasion of World Day Against Cyber Censorship, held on 12 March, the BCHR renews its calls for an Internet without restrictions and accessible to all, and calls for the release of all those who were detained for exercising free speech online. In fact, Bahrain is regarded as an enemy of the Internet according to the Reporters without Borders’ 2014 report and is categorized "Not Free" in the Freedom House report “Freedom on The Net 2014”.

    In Bahrain, the government practices a systematic harassment of citizens who make use of their free speech online. The BCHR has extensively been documenting the cases of people who have been arrested, tortured, prosecuted and sentenced for having freely expressed themselves online, through the use of social media. For instance, the well-known satirical blogger Takrooz (@Takrooz) - Hussain Mahdi - was arrested on 18 June 2014, after having been targeted for a long time with spy links that aims to identify his real identity.

    He was held in detention for over seven months before his trial started in January 2015. His lawyer said that Hussain has been tortured in detention. Takrooz has been an active voice in outlining the government crackdown on activists; his tweets covered abuse by law enforcement personnel, anti-corruption content and everyday concerns of the average Bahraini.

    Another target of Bahrain’s Cyber Crime Unit has been the award winning photographer Hussain Hubail who was arrested in July 2013 and received a sentence of five years in prison, upheld by the High Court of Appeals on 21 September 2014, on charges including the “use of social media networks to incite hatred of the regime”. The BCHR received information that Hubail was subjected to torture while he was in detention at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID); he was beaten, kicked in the stomach and face, kept in an extremely cold room, forced to stand up for long periods of time and deprived from sleeping. Moreover, when he was transferred to the Dry Dock Detention Centre, the authorities failed to properly give him his medication for a heart illness; it was not given to him in the correct dose nor at the correct time. They also failed to give it to him every day in spite of him needing it.

    Yet another important target of the authorities in Bahrain is the prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, who has been the subject of persecution by Bahraini security forces for his activism for years prior to the breakout of major protests in the country in 2011. Four months after completing a two-year prison sentence, Rajab was arrested again because of a tweet deemed “insulting” to the Ministry of Interior and Bahrain’s security forces. Several organizations and members of the European Parliament have urged the Bahraini government to drop the charges and release Rajab unconditionally.  Rajab is currently out on bail, awaiting his new date of appeal, that has been postponed twice, now set for 15 March 2015.

    Unfortunately, there are numerous other cases of arrests and sentences related to online free speech. For instance, on 27 January 2015, nine men (Mohammed Saeed Al Adraj, 24 years, Mohammed Ahmed Ali, 21 years, Yousif Fadhel Salman, 21 years, Abas Ali Ahmed, 21 years, Kameel Ibrahim Yousif, 19 years, and Hussain Mohammed Ahmed, 22 years) were arrested, for allegedly having, according to the Ministry of Interior in Bahrain, misused social media. Finally, it is worth mentioning that thousands of websites in Bahrain, including BCHR’s website, continue to be blocked in Bahrain.

    In 2014, a total of 18 users were subject to arrest or prosecution or both for their online activity, and a total of 184 months have been handed down to nine of them for posts over twitter, instagram and chatting applications like whatsapp.

    The BCHR is gravely concerned about the escalation of the repression exercised by the Bahraini government against online freedom of speech and calls on the international community to intensify its efforts in pressuring the Bahraini government to drop all charges and release all of those who are being sentenced for exercising their internationally protected right to freedom of expression.

    The BCHR calls on the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and other national and international bodies to call on Bahrain to:

    • Immediately release all persons who are detained for practicing their right to freedom of speech and expression online in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and drop all charges against them;
    • Urge the Bahraini government to repeal laws that infringe upon the internationally protected right of free expression.
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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) condemn the recurring, violent attacks on prisoners at Jaw Prison. On 10 March 2015, Bahraini security forces allegedly attacked prisoners at Jaw Prison using rubber bullets, tear gas, and shotgun pellets. Leaked pictures from Jaw Prison show numerous injuries including several that seemed to be serious. The aforementioned organizations are seriously concerned over the wellbeing of the inmates at Jaw Prison, after this attack.  Prison officials have since prevented families from calling and visiting their loved ones.

    The incident allegedly started when a family protested after being denied visitation. The Ministry of Interior claimed that the family “damaged and vandalized the building.” A female relative of the family was arrested and detained. On the same day, detainees in buildings 1, 3, 4 and 6 called their relatives to tell them that security forces in large numbers were attacking them within the prison buildings and cells. They claimed that security forces fired tear gas and shotgun pellets inside cells which caused some prisoners to choke and suffer injuries of various degrees.

    Numerous pictures and videos were leaked from Jaw prison and disseminated on social media websites. The videos showed the severity of the violence that was used against the prisoners.  Pictures revealed a young man with a tear gas canister injury to his abdomen, another gentleman with a head injury, and several other pictures of cells filled with tear gas. Since the attack, there has been no news on the current condition of the injured prisoners. Some families, who had visits scheduled the following day, reported that they had been informed by the prison administration that visits and calls were canceled for the next three days.

    It is important to note that buildings 3 and 6 of Jaw Prison house minors. This is not the first time prisoners, including minors, have been attacked. On 15 February 2015, security forces besieged buildings 3 and 6 and raided them with police dogs. The security forces physically beat juvenile prisoners with batons and used pepper spray, one prisoner was even bitten by a police dog. Following this attack inmates were also prevented from making calls and family visits had been canceled for several days after.

    BCHR, BIRD and ADHRB are further concerned of the prison’s documented poor condition. Leaked pictures from the Prison show a lack of basic hygiene and over crowdedness. Although the prison’s capacity allows for 450 prisoners, it holds approximately 1000 prisoners. Many prisoners sleep in the corridors and in prayer rooms. Inmates protested and staged sit-ins demanding improvements, to no avail.

    The security forces’ treatment of prisoners at Jaw Prison violates the “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners”, in particular Article 31 which states that “corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell, and all cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments shall be completely prohibited as punishments for disciplinary offences” and Article 32 (2) which ensures that no punishment “may be prejudicial to the physical or mental health of a prisoner” may be applied. In addition, the condition of the prison is in direct violation to Article 10 which states that every prisoner shall “be provided with a separate bed, and with separate and sufficient bedding which shall be clean when issued ..” and that “all parts of an institution regularly used by prisoners shall be properly maintained and kept scrupulously clean at all times.”

    We, the aforementioned NGOs, call for:

    1.) A thorough investigation into the attack at Jaw prison.  We ask that the facts be presented and those responsible be held accountable for their actions.

    2) The end to group punishment and administrative abuse on all accounts

    3) All family members be given the right to have scheduled visitation and those scheduled visits be upheld by the prison administration.

    4) Jaw Prison to provide an adequate and hygienic environment for detainees to sleep and be housed.

     

    Injuries caused by the attack: (Note: Some photos below are graphic)

     

     

     

    Weapons used:

     

    A photo that shows some of the security forces that participated in the attacked:

    Photos showing the Prison conditions:

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    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, in coordination with the Alsalam Foundation, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, CIVICUS, and UPR Info, hosted an event at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council entitled, “Civil Society Documentation & Engagement with UN Mechanisms.”

    Tor Hodenfield, the Policy and Advocacy Officer from CIVICUS, moderated the panel, opening by stating the importance of documenting human rights violations and engaging the United Nations. “In light of the unprecedented legal restrictions being brought upon civil society across the globe, it is increasingly important to identify innovative strategies to monitor and document human rights violations at the national level.”

    Safir Syed from OHCHR’s Civil Society Office joined the panel to provide information on UN mechanisms, explain how OHCHR promotes civil society’s role in the international community, and show how OHCHR protects the space in which civil society operates. Hodenfield asked Syed how best civil society can use international avenues to engage with the Human Rights Council and OHCHR. “Everything that [NGOs are] doing, it’s going to carry on whatever the Human Rights Council or the UN does,” stated Syed, continuing by saying that promoting human dignity and inclusive participation should be a priority regardless of UN action. “In the UN Human Rights System,” he continued, “we have three methods to engage civil society: OHCHR, the treaty bodies, and intergovernmental bodies such as the Human Rights Council.” He also described the Special Procedure system, stating that the UN in this instance maintained about 60 entry points for civil society to engage by addressing individual human rights complaints. “All of these mechanisms rely on documentation,” said Syed. “It’s what feeds the system,” he continued, stating that these mechanisms cannot function without civil society providing them with useful information and reporting.

    Hodenfield asked Syed to follow-up on documentation for countries that don’t have an OHCHR regional presence. “For national actors to share information with the system, we rely upon transmissions through email, electronically, or through the post in places where we don’t have national offices. This is the best way to reach us.”

    Sayed Yusuf al-Muhafdah, Vice-President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, continued the conversation. Hodenfield asked al-Muhafdah to provide the context of documenting human rights abuses. “We’re in a very critical situation for human rights in Bahrain,” said al-Muhafdah. “There are 3,500 prisoners of conscience in Bahrain, and Bahrain arrests the highest number of journalists per capita in the world.” He emphasized that there is no space for civil society to work without fear of reprisal, framing that his work in documenting human rights abuses is always impacted by the possibility of government retaliation. “Most of the human rights NGOs aren’t even allowed to be registered in the country. BCHR had its organizational status revoked by the government and had to incorporate in Copenhagen, while ADHRB operates in Washington.”

    Hodenfeld followed up by stating that, despite these issues, Bahraini civil society has managed to continue a robust documentation structure, and asking al-Muhafdah how that was possible. “It’s certainly not easy,” said al-Muhafdah. “We have a number of volunteers working for us, and on a daily basis they’re interviewing victims, taking informative photos, taking videos… They know the potential consequences, but they’re brave enough to face them.” He went on to emphasize the importance of informed consent, stating that victims of human rights abuses who have already experienced retaliation are often intimidated against cooperation with documentation teams. “We always get permission from victims and family members to publish their information. That’s extremely important.” He went on to speak about engagement with UN mechanisms. “BCHR and ADHRB have a team on the ground that helps us get information from victims, and we take that information, process it, and submit it in the form of a complaint to the Special Procedures. It’s a great way to get our documentation in front of UN experts… We also engage in public advocacy, by publishing victims’ stories and pictures online.

    Hodenfield asked al-Muhafdah a second question regarding how best civil society can coordinate in situations such as that present in Bahrain. “We coordinate via email, via Whatsapp. But we know they’re spying on us, so we also use a lot of anonymous social media to coordinate.

    Roland Chauville, the Executive Director of UPR Info, spoke on the UN mechanism known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Hodenfield asked Chauville to provide information regarding the UPR’s entry points, and how best civil society can use the UPR to enhance its advocacy. “The best way for NGOs to engage the UPR process is to directly lobby State missions in Geneva,” said Chauville, explaining that the UPR process allowed human rights-observing states to make periodic comments and recommendations on the human rights situation in abusing countries. “NGOs can also submit mid-term reports,” he said, highlighting ADHRB’s mid-term report as an example of an excellent tool for keeping the spotlight on a country’s poor human rights record. “In other countries, we’ve actually seen the UPR bring NGOs and governments together,” he continued, stating that the UPR can even push governments to honor their human rights commitments when a government is willing.

    Hodenfield followed up by asking Chauville to discuss what steps NGOs can take to advocate for the implementation of UPR recommendations. “The first thing is to make the UPR known in the country,” Chauville stated, describing that governments are often ignorant of the UPR outside of their foreign affairs ministries and departments. “Documentation is also essential,” he continued, saying that it is necessary for the UN to receive information regarding implementation in order to engage in further action.

    Hodenfield then opened up the floor for questions. Michael Payne from ADHRB asked that, with the Third Cycle of the UPR approaching, what changes Chauville anticipated for the process. He also asked what role parliamentarians could play. “We’ll need to first see how governments respond to the second cycle… I feel there’s an effort to be made to incorporate the second cycle into the third.” Regarding the role of parliamentarians, Chauvulle said, “They must inform themselves. There needs to be communication between parliaments and NGOs to come to a consensus on what the situation actually is.” He added that parliamentarians have a responsibility to ratify international human rights treaties and conventions.

    James Suzano from ADHRB asked a question regarding treaty bodies, querying Syed about how best civil society can engage treaty bodies when countries haven’t ratified the optional protocols or even the treaties. “It’s difficult to engage the treaty bodies when a treaty hasn’t been ratified,” said Syed. “However, oftentimes the same kind of content can be brought to other treaties that have been ratified. For example, if ICCPR [International Convention on Civil and Political Rights] hasn’t been ratified, but the CRC [Convention on the Rights of the Child] has, perhaps bringing information under the second body might be a solution.”

    Fatema al-Mutawa, a lawyer from Bahrain, asked a question about whether al-Muhafdah had ever seen retaliation against victims for cooperating with his documentation team. “Yes, we have seen this in Bahrain, and it does have a negative effect on the documentation process.”

    Mohamed al-Tajer, a Bahraini human rights lawyer, questioned the panel as to how the UPR mechanism can be effective when States themselves refuse to implement the recommendations. Syed defended the system, stating that the progress is debatable but that, “it’s really about being better at communicating ideas and countering misinformation.” Chauville also responded, stating that States created the rules and States have to obey them.

    Ahmed Ali from BIRD asked Syed about reprisals, asking him how OHCHR might react against government action against human rights defenders. “The work you’re all doing takes a long time. It’s slow and sometimes dangerous… States, when they run out of ideas, will use violence and force.” He added that OHCHR can help minimize risk, but can’t stop them entirely. “OHCHR has adopted a policy of protecting human rights defenders… the High Commissioner speaks out, the treaty bodies speak out…” continued Syed, stating that OHCHR does what it can but again emphasizing OHCHR requires documentation in order to do so.

    Michael Payne added an additional question to Syed, querying him on how civil society mechanisms without UN accreditation can engage OHCHR, and asked Chauville about seeing progress on recommendations that were not implemented in previous cycles. “The UPR can target anything,” said Chauville. “Repetition shows systemic problems.” Syed addressed the question of ECOSOC status, saying, “All it is is a ticket to get into this building [Palais des Nations]. The rest of the system does not require it.”

    Hodenfield then closed by asking the panelists to describe concrete steps that civil society can take. Syed echoed his previous remarks, stating that change is difficult but important. “In order to use the UN, you need to be informed of its language, its structure, and how it works,” Syed continued. “For Bahrain in particular,” said al-Muhafdah, “we need to continue to pressure the government to let the Special Rapporteur into the country.” Chauville closed by stating that NGOs need to understand how the UN works and invest in its mechanisms.

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    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, in coordination with the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Index on Censorship, PEN International, and the International Federation of Human Rights, hosted a discussion at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The event, entitled, “Religious Discrimination in Bahrain,” discussed government discrimination against the Shia majority in Bahrain, and additionally unveiled ADHRB, BIRD, and BCHR’s latest report, “Apart in Their Own Land: Government Discrimination against Shia in Bahrain.”

    Husain Abdulla, the Executive Director of ADHRB, opened the panel by explaining that the idea of a Shia genocide is a popular but hyperbolic sentiment in Bahrain. He continued by stating that, while genocide does not apply in Bahrain, the situation in the country closely approaches that of another crime against humanity – that of apartheid. He then introduced the event’s esteemed panelists, allowing them to continue the argument.

    Saman Naquvi, the grassroots advocacy associate for ADHRB, presented ADHRB’s report. “The Bahrain government is guilty of systemic discrimination against the majority Shia population,” said Saman Naquvi, continuing by stating that sectarianism does not exist in Bahrain except insofar as the government commits sectarian acts. “Our report covers state violence against Shia, the disclusion of Shia from the political process, and direct attacks against the Shia religious establishment, literally setting the Shia discrimination apart in their own land… Were the Shia considered a race instead of a religion, their situation would almost directly mirror the Apartheid Convention.”

    Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights defender in Bahrain, joined the panel via Skype, as he could not travel to Bahrain on account of a travel ban imposed upon him in retaliation against a tweet he authored in which he criticized the government. “It’s not considered to be a crime here,” said Rajab, speaking about government violence committed against Shia. “The village in which I live is surrounded by government troops. It is tear gassed on a nightly basis, and government violence occurs daily. Yet if I wanted to move, I would have to receive government permission to leave the violence.” Rajab continued by emphasizing that the Sunni population is not implicated in the discrimination, and that the Shia and Sunni live in harmony in the country. “It is the system that is the problem,” explained Rajab. “We have an apartheid system here in Bahrain… If the government were to change its apartheid-like policies, violence against the Shia would disappear overnight.”

    Fatima al-Mutawa, a Bahraini human rights and criminal defense lawyer, spoke about her personal experience as a legal practitioner in Bahrain. “We often can’t even find the defendants,” said al-Mutawa, stating that the government often disappears victims and interrogates them without notifying or allowing them to retain counsel. “When they’re in the trial, we can see the prejudice against our Shia defendants… the way the judge speaks to them, the way that the police handle them, it all reveals systemic prejudice in the government.” Al-Mutawa continued by stating that the government often does not even accept legitimate evidence of innocence. “In one trial, we submitted a video showing that the Shia defendant was playing in a basketball match at the time of the crime. The government still found him guilty, without explaining how he could be in two places at one time.”

    Josh Colangelo-Bryan, a U.S. attorney specializing in human rights, continued the conversation. “In 2012, the King of Bahrain accepted the findings of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and promised that political trials would stop. Based on the government’s own words, however, it’s indisputable that they haven’t.” Colangelo-Bryan went on to describe a case in which the court ruled against Shia defendants, quoting that the court’s reasoning included that “the goal of changing a monarchical system is itself illegal.” “If you ask for democracy in Bahrain, you are a criminal,” concluded Colangelo-Bryan.

    Mohammed al-Tajer, a human rights lawyer and the President of the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, concluded the panelists’ remarks. “I remember maybe 15 years back, when the new King Hamad began his reform projects… As a Shia, I was hopeful for a true democracy in Bahrain… but that hope no longer exists today.” He argued that the entire system is balanced against the Shia. “In the last few years, I haven’t seen more than one or two Shia become public prosecutors, and there are only seven Shia judges in Bahrain. The government needs to incorporate Shia into its structure in order to truly represent all of Bahraini society.”

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    Mr. President,

    Alsalam Foundation, along with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, would like to call the Council’s attention to the renewed targeting of human rights defenders and political opposition figures in Bahrain. 

    Within 24 hours of his return from an advocacy tour including the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Bahraini government arrested Nabeel Rajab, nominally in relation to an offending tweet. Nabeel was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison on 20 January. In two days, Nabeel will face his final appeals trial in relation to these charges.

    In late December 2014, the government summoned Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary General of al-Wefaq Society—the largest political opposition group in Bahrain—for questioning. Two days before his summons, Sheikh Ali was re-elected as Secretary-General despite government orders to dissolve the organization following their boycott of the November elections. The Ministry of Interior interrogated Sheikh Ali regarding speeches that he had given dating back to 2012 in which he called for peaceful protests, as well as political and electoral reforms. Sheikh Ali awaits trial on the 25th of this month on a litany of charges including “attempting to overthrow the government.”

    The Government of Bahrain has repeatedly postponed the trials of both Nabeel Rajab and Sheikh Ali Salman, drawing criticism from international NGOs that Bahrain is attempting to escape accountability from the Human Rights Council. We therefore call on the Council to recognize the arbitrary nature of their prosecutions and ask the Bahraini government to release Nabeel Rajab, Sheikh Ali Salman, and all Bahraini prisoners held under politically motivated charges.

     

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    After several unsuccessful appeals to prison administration officials for adequate medical assistance, leading Bahraini human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja has publically announced that he has gone on hunger strike in protest of his continued arbitrary detention and mistreatment while in prison.  Al-Khawaja, who began the water-only hunger strike on 2 March 2015, is suffering from serious health issues and is at severe risk of further health complications.

    “He sounded weak and exhausted on the phone to an extent that we could tell how sick he was, but this won’t stop him from battling for his freedom and the freedom of all human rights defenders in Bahrain,” said his daughter Maryam Al-Khawaja, Co-Director of at the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR).

    Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, the Co-founder of the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was sentenced to life in prison in June 2011 for peaceful human rights activities The undersigned organizations and individuals express their grave concern about the continued mistreatment of Al-Khawaja while in detention and call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally address Al-Khawaja’s legitimate demands.

    On 23 February 2015, Al-Khawaja delivered a letter to the head of Jaw prison informing the authorities that he would be starting a hunger strike on 2 March 2015 including the demands listed below.

    Specific demands related to the hunger strike:

    1. Hand over a copy of his medical file to his family or his lawyer to get a second opinion on a much-needed operation. This request was previously made on 2 January 2015.

    2. Allow visitation rights to his son-in-law via the procedure of making special requests, according to standard procedures.

    3. Allow flexibility in the number of people permitted during family visits as it used to be 10 but had been reduced to six.

    4. Make available the prison law list to make clear what rights and obligations prisoners have.

    5. Allow families to bring magazines to prisoners, which used to be allowed but have been stopped since three weeks ago.

    6. Make available Al-Wasat and Al-Watan newspapers with the rest of newspapers available.

    7. Allow families to bring a radio or make it available at the prison store as per the decision that was made five months ago but not implemented after the banning of MP3 players.

    8. Set up a mechanism for follow up in regards to the other issues related to Building 7 at Jaw prison.

    General demands:

    1. Protest about continued arbitrary arrests and lack of investigation into torture.

    2. Protest against the generally bad situation in the prison, especially in the recent period.

    Background information:

    On 4 September 2012, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a decision on Al-Khawaja's case, defining it as "arbitrary"and calling for his immediate release. This is at least the fourth time Al-Khawaja has gone on a water-only hunger strike, putting him at serious risk of cardiac arrest or slipping into a coma. During the last phone call he made to his family on 14 March, Al-Khawaja's blood sugar was 2.5, his blood pressure was 90/60, his weight had gone down 10 kilos to 53, ketone level was 2+, and he sounded exhausted and weak on the phone. He also informed his family that the doctors conveyed a threat from officers that if his health further deteriorates, he will be forcibly moved and force fed, an action that is considered torture by the United Nations experts.

    According to a local internal medicine specialist, “When fat stocks are used up after prolonged or recurrent periods of hunger strikes, a catastrophic protein catabolism will develop. Main somatic complications ensuing from these physiopathological mechanisms are dehydration, shock, renal failure, stroke, hypoglycemic coma, metabolic disturbances (arrhythmias), vitamin deficiencies (Gayet-Wernicke), peptic ulcers and nephrolithiasis, without forgetting the major risks associated with re-nutrition.”

    She warned, “Serious complications and death occur especially from the fortieth day on, but early and unexpected complications are possible. Close medical monitoring is recommended after 10% of weight loss in lean healthy individuals. Serious medical problems begin at a loss of approximately 18% from initial body weight. The risk of neurological signs by thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency is common in cases of fasting with exclusive intake of sugar and liquids.” Those who go on hunger strike are prone to have multiple deficiencies including iron deficiency, Vitamin b12 and Folate deficiency which will make them at greater risk of developing anemia.

    Al-Khawaja’s family members noticed that he was very pale, which could be secondary to chronic anemia due to his recurrent hunger strikes with underlying malnutrition conditions. Chronic anemia especially in cases of hunger strike with Folate or B12 and other mineral deficiencies will make persons undergoing hunger strikes prone to have cardiac failure with high risk of arrhythmia.

    We the undersigned organisations and individuals call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who has been imprisoned solely for practicing his right to free expression and as a result of his human rights work. We also call on the authorities in Bahrain to respond to Al-Khawaja's demands, and to guarantee better prison conditions for all prisoners in Bahrain.

     

    Signed:

    Avocats Sans Frontier (ASF)

    Amman Center for Human Rights Studies

    Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)

    Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

    Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)

    Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)

    Bahrain Rehabilitation and Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO)

    Bahrain Salam for Human Rights

    Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR)

    Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)

    CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

    Damien McCormack – Irish Surgeon and activist

    European Bahraini Organization for Human Rights (EBOHR)

    Freedom House

    Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR)

    Index on Censorship                            

    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

    International Service for Human Rights

    Khiam Center for Rehabilitation

    Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada

    Lord Eric Avebury – Vice-Chair, Parliamentary Human Rights Group UK

    MENA Monitoring Group

    No Peace Without Justice

    PEN International

    Sentinel Defenders      

    The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms

    Yemen Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms

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    The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights expresses its grave concern as the authorities continue to restrict activists, including human rights defenders, who uncover human rights violations against citizens demanding freedom and self-determination. In the latest incident, the authorities banned human rights defender Ghada Jamsheer from travel after she attempted to travel via Bahrain International Airport to receive medical treatment.

    Jamsheer told BCHR that she travelled to Bahrain International Airport on the morning of Saturday 14 March after she decided to seek medical treatment in France, travelling via Dubai. Jamsheer has informed BCHR that on her arrival to the airport’s security office she was told by an official that she is banned from travel according to an order issued by the prosecutor general. Jamsheer went to the prosecutor’s office immediately, accompanied by her lawyer, and demanded a meeting with the prosecutor’s deputy, Mihna al-Shayaji. Shayaji refused to meet her, instead demanding that she request a review on 15 March. Jamsheer was stunned by the decision, which backtracked on a decision taken by the Ministry of Migration and Passports a week prior to her attempt to travel. The Deputy Interior Minister, Rashid Bin Khalifa, had assured her that she would be allowed to travel. Based on her discussion with him, Jamsheer booked her ticket and arranged a date with the doctors who would be treating her in Paris.

    It should be mentioned that Jamsheer is a women’s rights activist and head of the Women’s Petition Council that includes a group of female Bahraini activists who hope to reform family laws in the country. Jamsheer has previously been summoned for an investigation by the electronic crimes department of the criminal investigations bureau over tweets in which she described corruption at the King Hamad University Hospital, which is run by members of the ruling family. She was subsequently detained. Jamsheer’s Twitter account was closed two weeks after her arrest. On 29 October 2014 Jamsheer appeared before the Third Criminal Court to answer charges of libel using Twitter. The court ruled to release her in return for the payment of bail, despite the fact that she was kept detained under the auspices of two other libel cases for two and a half months. BCHR published a report at the time including the details of those cases.

    BCHR believes that the government of Bahrain is attempting to clamp down on activists and restrict their movements. This has resulted in recent years in a media blackout enacted by the government, as well as the accompanying repression and use of excessive force. Jamsheer is not the only person who has been subjected to this; BCHR has previously documented a large number of such cases, such as that of the activist and blogger Ahmed Rida, the female activist Ahlam al-Kheza’i and others. Added to this is the case of Nabeel Rajab, head of BCHR, who remains subject to a travel ban according to a court decision issued after his recent arrest. He was detained over a tweet in which he criticized the Interior and Defence Ministries. The court ruled to detain him for 6 months based on the case. BCHR considers this decision to ban him from travel a clear transgression of the principles of human rights to which Bahrain has signed up, especially those contained in Article 12 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulates that “freedom of movement is a condition that must be followed”. Consequently, depriving any person of the right to travel is an assault against his/her basic rights.

    Based on the above, BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations as well as all other allies and other relevant international organisations to put pressure on the Bahraini government to:

    • Allow activist Ghada Jamsheer to pursue her proposed treatment abroad, and abrogate the charge leveled against her based on her practicing of her right to freedom of expression.
    • Cease targeting and pursuing activists and human rights defenders.
    • Drop all charges leveled against activists based on practicing their right to freedom of expression, according to what is stipulated by the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and stop pursuing Twitter users for their views.
    • Immediately abrogate all laws that restrict freedoms and violate basic human rights as stipulated by the International Declaration of Human Rights.
    • Reform the Bahraini judicial system according to international standards regarding to legal proceedings and fair trials.
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    On the fourth anniversary of the arrests of 13 leading opposition activists and other prisoners of conscience in Bahrain, Amnesty International calls for their immediate and unconditional release and urges the authorities to ensure that the rights of all prisoners, including those held in Jaw prison, are fully respected.

    Four years ago, starting on 17 March 2011, security officers in Bahrain raided the houses of several opposition activists, took them to unknown locations and detained them incommunicado for several weeks. Amongst them were 13 opposition activists, ‘Ali al-‘Ekri, a medical doctor, and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, the head of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association.

    Many of the 13 later said in court and to their relatives and lawyers that they were tortured during their first days of detention while they were being interrogated by officers from the National Security Agency (NSA). The torture they described included beatings, being forced to stand for extended periods, and being threatened with rape. After grossly unfair trials they were convicted of, amongst other offences, setting up “terror groups to topple the royal regime and change the constitution” and sentenced to between five years and life in prison. To date, no adequate investigation is known to have taken place into their allegations of torture, despite the authorities putting in place institutions since 2012 to investigate such allegations.

    Some of the 13, as well as Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, and other prisoners held in Jaw prison, have complained about the lack of adequate medical treatment and the deterioration in their health as a result of inadequate treatment for injuries resulting from torture.

    During meetings with Amnesty International in 2014, the Bahraini authorities stated that adequate and specialised medical treatment is available at the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) hospital. While Amnesty International understands that treatment at the BDF hospital is of an adequate standard, some prisoners have been reluctant to receive their treatment at that hospital because they allege that they were tortured there in 2011.

    Referring to the 2011 events, the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which was set up by the King to examine allegations of human rights violations in the February-March 2011 anti-government protests, states that “[…] Detainees stated that they were taken to hospital for treatment and they were beaten and verbally abused during transfer and in the treatment facilities. This pattern was particularly common to detainees who were treated at BDF Hospital and the MoI Hospital in Al-Qalaa.” (para. 1198)

    On 2 March 2015 one of the 13 opposition activists, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, started a hunger strike to demand, amongst other things, that he and his family have access to his medical records in order to allow him to get a second opinion by a medical professional outside the BDF hospital with regard to a surgical operation that has been recommended to him for injuries he sustained as a result of having been tortured in 2011.

    Amnesty International calls on the Bahraini authorities to ensure that all prisoners have access to adequate and timely health care by independent doctors. In view of the fact that the Ombudsman for the Ministry of Interior has stressed in its 2013 report that the clinic at Jaw prison is not well equipped to provide specialised treatment, as well as the well founded lack of trust in the BDF hospital, steps should be taken to enable prisoners, especially those who allege they were previously tortured at the BDF hospital, to receive medical treatment in different hospitals or medical centres.

    Amnesty International reiterates its calls on the Bahraini government to immediately and unconditionally release the 13 opposition activists, Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheen and Dr ‘Ali al-‘Ekri as they are prisoners of conscience. The organization also urges the authorities to ensure that independent and impartial investigations take place into their allegations of torture, that the victims have access to an effective remedy and reparation, that those found responsible are brought to justice in prompt and fair trials without recourse to the death penalty, and that the outcome of the investigations are made public.

    Recent abuses in Jaw prison
    According to local activists and media reports, anti-riot police beat inmates and used tear gas inside Jaw prison on 10 March. The Ministry of Interior issued a statement on the same day claiming that the incidents had started when a visitor who wanted to see a prisoner without presenting an ID card was stopped by the security guards and family members of that visitor ‘vandalized parts of the building’ and prisoners had started a riot. The following day the government announced that an investigation into the incidents had been launched.

    Since this incident, families of some prisoners have reported that communications with the prisoners have been interrupted and local activists have reported that prisoners continued being beaten after 10 March. Apparently other prisoners are being questioned in relation to the incidents on 10 march.

    The previous month Amnesty International wrote to the Minister of Interior raising concerns about the denial of visits and phone calls to prisoners in blocks three and six in Jaw prison. Apparently the visits had been stopped after some prisoners had heard other prisoners in block six, some of whom are children, that is, under 18 years old, screaming and calling for help. The 13 opposition activists, then started a hunger strike on 18 February in protest at the treatment of prisoners in bloc six. Families told Amnesty International that visits were restored on 25 February.

    Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the allegations of beatings of prisoners in Jaw Prison on 10 March, as well as of the use of tear gas in confined spaces. It is urging the authorities to make public the results of its investigations into the events on that day. It is likewise concerned about the allegations of ill-treatment of prisoners in block six, and that children are being detained alongside adult prisoners, in violation of international human rights law and standards, and is urging the authorities to launch investigations into these allegations also. The organisation is also calling on the authorities to ensure that prisoners in Jaw prison are not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, and that any prison officials responsible for committing such acts are brought to justice.

    Background:
    The 13 prominent opposition figures, adopted by Amnesty international as prisoners of conscience and referred to in this statement, are: Hassan Mshaima’, ‘Abdewahab Hussain, Abdul-Hadi ‘Abdullah Hassan al-Mukhodher, Ebrahim Sherif, Dr ‘Abdel-Jalil al-Singace, Sa’eed Mirza, Salah ‘Abdullah Hubail al-Khawaja, Mohammad Hassan Jawwad, Abdel-Jalil al-Miqdad , Mohammad Habib al-Miqdad, Abdullah al-Mahroos Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Mohammad ‘Ali Ridha Isma’il.
    Mahdi Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb and Dr Ali al-Ekri are also considered as prisoners of conscience.

    Click here to download the full statement

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    TORTURED TO ‘CONFESS’, ACTIVIST NOW STANDS TRIAL

    Bahraini human rights activist Hussain Jawad stood trial on 17 March on the basis of confessions extracted from him under torture following his arrest. His trial was postponed to 7 April.

    Human rights activist Hussain Jawad stood trial on 17 March before a Lower Criminal Court in Manama, the capital, on charges of “collecting and receiving money from home and abroad in order to support and finance subversive groups”. He was tried together with two other individuals. On 12 March, the Public Prosecution said Hussain Jawad and another individual “confessed” to receiving money from a third individual living abroad and collecting money in Bahrain without authorization in order to support families of the prisoners convicted for sabotage activities. Hussein Jawad denied the charges and told the judge he was tortured when in custody of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). The case was then adjourned to 7 April.

    Hussain Jawad previously “confessed” to a number of charges when he first appeared before the Public Prosecution on 21 February. Later, on 23 February, he told the Public Prosecution that he had been tortured at the CID and forced to “confess”. He was questioned by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), the body mandated to investigate and bring to court allegations of torture and other violations by the security forces, and told them he was tortured and threatened with further torture if he withdrew his confession. There is no information on the outcome of the SIU investigation into Hussain Jawad’s torture allegations.

    Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

    • Calling on the authorities to release Hussain Jawad immediately and unconditionally if he is being targeted for his human rights work;
    • Calling on them not to use any confessions extracted under torture in any proceeding against him;
    • Urging them to ensure that Hussain Jawad is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and to promptly investigate his torture allegations, make the investigation results public and bring those responsible to justice.

    PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 APRIL 2015 TO:
    King
    Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
    Office of His Majesty the King
    P.O. Box 555
    Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama
    Bahrain
    Fax: +973 1766 4587
    Salutation: Your Majesty

    Ministry of Interior
    Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
    P.O. Box 13, al-Manama
    Bahrain
    Fax: +973 1723 2661
    Email via website: www.interior.gov.bh/contact_en.aspx
    Twitter: @moi_Bahrain
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to:
    Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
    Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa
    Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
    P. O. Box 450, al-Manama
    Bahrain
    Fax: +973 1753 1284
    Email via website: http://www.moj.gov.bh/en/
    Twitter: @Khaled_Bin_Ali

    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
    Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

    Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the second update of UA 34/15. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE11/1066/2015/en/

     

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    Hussain Jawad was arrested at around 1.30am on 16 February by masked police officers in plain clothes. They searched his house and then took him to the CID. They did not say why they were arresting him, but Amnesty International fears it may have been because of his human rights work.

    Around 10 hours after his arrest, he phoned his wife and said that he was fine. She asked him whether the police had hurt him: he said “yes” and the line was cut off. Many of those taken to the CID in recent weeks and months have said they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated. His lawyer wrote to the Public Prosecution Office (PPO) asking to be told when Hussain Jawad was due for interrogation, so that he could be present with him. Amnesty International wrote to the PPO to ask why Hussain Jawad had been arrested and ensure that he is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, but received no reply.

    In its response to a letter from Amnesty International, the Ombudsman of the Ministry of the Interior said that his office had questioned Hussain Jawad following a complaint from his wife but that he told them he was not beaten but only threatened he would be mistreated if he did not cooperate. Hussain Jawad told his wife he did inform the Ombudsman’s office he was beaten but did not give the full details of his torture for fear of being sent back to the CID for further torture.

    On 23 February, Hussain Jawad told the Public Prosecution that he had been tortured, including by being beaten, deprived of sleep, forced to stand for a prolonged period in a cold room, insulted, humiliated and threatened with rape and sexual assault.

    Hussain Jawad, who is the Chairman of the European-Bahraini organization for Human Rights (EBOHR), had been arrested before in 2013 after giving a speech during a protest rally. He was charged with “criticizing government institutions”, “insulting the flag and emblem of the country”, “attempting to disrupt public security” and “illegal gathering”.

    Hussain Jawad was also arrested on 24 November 2013 while at the al-Wusta Police Station south of the capital, Manama, where he was filing a complaint against a Bahraini daily newspaper and an organization with close links to the authorities for defamation. They had published the photos and the names of 18 Bahraini human rights defenders and political activists and alleged that they were responsible for “human rights violations” and “terrorist attacks” in the country and called for them to be punished. Their actions came in apparent response to a campaign organized by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) called “End Impunity in Bahrain”, which ran from 1 to 23 November 2013. During the campaign, the BCHR published the names of people it deemed responsible for, or involved in, ongoing human rights violations in the country.

    Name: Hussain Jawad
    Gender m/f: m

    Further information on UA: 34/15 Index: MDE 11/1218/2015 Issue Date: 18 March 2015

    Or click here to download the full statement

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    On 15 March 2015 during a side event that was organised by Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), human rights defenders Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of ADHRB, and Abdulnabi Al-Ekri, President of Bahrain Transparency Society and member of the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory (BHRO), were reportedly threatened by MP Khalid Al-Shaer, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee in the Bahraini Parliament. This resulted in the need to bring UN security to prevent the MP from attending the event.

    Al-Shaer reportedly threatened Al-Ekri that he will “be discussing things at the public prosecution” when returning to Bahrain. In addition to telling Abdulla that “I came to Geneva to see you,” he accused him of using ADHRB to “defame his homeland and spread lies.” He then added, “I know that you still have family residing in Bahrain and you can imagine what would have already happened to them [his family], if the government was truly bad."

    During the event, another member of Al-Shaer’s delegation took pictures of the Bahraini activists with her mobile phone. During previous Human Rights Council sessions, people accredited by the Government of Bahrain took pictures of human rights defenders as a means of intimidation. In addition, articles were written in the local Bahrain press defaming organisers. See http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=397594 and http://www.alwatannews.net/PrintedNewsViewer.aspx?ID=BAaNaDzsvsXPB733337Ta65uI1Q933339933339.

    Husain Abdulla informed the President of the Human Rights Council, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council and other bodies and mechanisms about this threatening incident.

    The co-signed organisations believe that human rights defenders Husain Abdulla and Abdulnabi Al-Ekri have been targeted solely due to their co-operation with the UN system and in particular their role in documenting and reporting the continued human rights violations in Bahrain.

    Attacks and intimidation against Bahraini human rights defenders for engaging with the UN human rights system have increased in recent years. Authorities continue to systematically target defenders who collaborate with the international mechanisms on politically-motivated charges using the judiciary, which lacks both independence and the most basic international standards. It is critical that the UN Human Rights Council addresses these threats and calls upon the Government of Bahrain to ensure the safety of human rights defenders returning to Bahrain after Geneva.

    The co-signed organisations call on the government of Bahrain to:

    1. Immediately stop the ongoing reprisals against human rights defenders who are engaging with the international mechanisms including the UN system;
    2. Immediately stop the human rights violations as well as escalating attacks on human rights defenders;
    3. Release all human rights defenders jailed in Bahrain, stop putting them on trial and lift the travel bans imposed on them;
    4. Make the amendments and policy changes necessary to bring domestic legislation and procedures into conformity with Bahrain’s international obligations and commitments to ensure and prevent violations of freedoms protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and
    5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

     

    Signed,

    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)

    Amman Center for Human Rights Studies

    Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

    Arab Organization for Human Rights in Syria

    Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF Network)

    Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR)

    Bahrain Observatory for Human Rights (BOHR)

    Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)

    Bahrain Salam for Human Rights

    Cairo Institute for Human Rights Information (CIHRS)

    CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

    Committee for the Defense of Democracy Freedoms and Human Rights in Syria

    Damien McCormack – Irish Surgeon and activist

    Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)

    Human rights Organization in Syria (MAF)

    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

    International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

    Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association (IJRDA)

    Kurdish Organization to Defense Human Rights

    Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada

    Lualua Centre for Human Rights

    Metro Centre to Defend Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan

    No Peace Without Justice

    Rewangeh

    Syrian Federation for Human Rights Organizations and Bodies

    The Tunisian Intuitive for Freedom of Expression

    World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

     

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    Washington, DC – March 18, 2011 – Four years ago today, government security forces in Bahrain destroyed the Pearl Roundabout, a monument which served as the center of the February 2011 uprising and has since become a symbol of the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain.  At the most recent session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Special Procedures published communications they made to the government regarding the destruction of the monument and all imagery related to it. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) join the Special Procedures in their concern over the destruction of the Pearl Roundabout, and call on the Government of Bahrain to respond to the communication and end its campaign of rewriting history.

    The Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council are a body of independent human rights experts empowered to investigate human rights violations across the globe. In their communication, the Procedures expressed, “concern at what appears to be a policy of removing from public space and public memory the symbol of the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain, and therefore, of preventing the expression of narratives deviating from official discourses regarding the events of February and March 2011.”  The Special Procedures complemented this concern by citing a previous report recommending, “That history teachings and memorial practices foster critical thought, analytic learning and debate, and open spaces to a variety of narratives regarding the past.”

    “By not only destroying the Pearl Roundabout but also removing all imagery associated with the monument, the Bahraini government is re-writing history,” said Husain Abdulla, the Executive Director for ADHRB. “The government wants to pretend that the peaceful uprising of February 2011 never happened.”

    Security forces have also used images of the destroyed monument to break the spirits of dissenters, particularly those detained for their role in the 2011 protests.  This, along with the disruption of peaceful protests and the total destruction of a cultural symbol, led the Special Procedures to voice their unease regarding, “continued restrictions imposed on the rights of everyone to peaceful expression and peaceful assembly.”

    “The government can try to erase the Pearl Roundabout from the country,” said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the Director of Advocacy for BIRD. “However, they’ll never be able to eradicate what the Pearl Roundabout represents: the hope for democracy and change in Bahrain.”

    In line with questions raised by the Special Procedures, ADHRB calls for the end of the coordinated destruction and erasure of all imagery associated with the Pearl Roundabout, the opening the site where the monument was located to the public, and the assurance of the safety of all people expressing peacefully and legitimately expressing their dissenting opinions.

    “We are grateful to the Special Procedures for raising these issues with the government,” said Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. “We now call on the government to answer the concerns raised in the communication, and restore the Pearl Roundabout’s rightful place in Bahraini history.”

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    Something's wrong at Bahrain's main jail, Jaw Prison. It's hard to get full details but the authorities and the families of prisoners agree that serious disturbances happened there on March 10.

    The authorities say there was damage to prison property "as a result of riotous activity last week." Families of the prisoners tell a different story - that disturbances were sparked when a visitor was refused permission to see her brother, and she was hit by a guard.

    They report that inmates then barricaded the prison's main exit in protest, dozens of prisoners were tear-gassed and beaten, and some of them were even hospitalized. Others report that a group of about 10 prisoners, including prominent human rights activist Naji Fateel, were removed from Block 4 and taken to another building.

    The authorities admit receiving over 100 information requests from the families and Jaw inmates since the disturbances, and say "the basic needs of the inmates at the facility are being met and have not been disrupted and that telephone and visitation services are ongoing in accordance the set schedule, rules, and regulations of the facility."

    But the family of prisoner Ali Al Ghanmi (usually held in Block 4), the former policeman who defied the authorities and joined the protests in 2011, tell me his scheduled visit this Sunday has been cancelled. They have heard he has been hurt but aren't able to contact him to find out more.

    It's no surprise that relatives of Jaw prisoners are worried. Last November 36 year-old prisoner Hasan Alshaikh was beaten to death there by officials. In September 2013 the Bahraini authorities conceded that overcrowding was a problem, recording the number of prisoners as 1608, well above official maximum capacity of 1201. The authorities also noted "Deficiencies in the documentation of the use of force and its levels in the personal record of the prisoner in the event of his involvement in or being subjected to acts that lead to the use of force." That year dozens of prisoners were injured when security forces used batons and tear gas against inmates protesting about poor prison conditions.

    Bahrain's jails are increasingly likely to become major flashpoints in Bahrain's ongoing political unrest - Bahrain's Robben Island or its H-Blocks. They contain hundreds of young men serving very long sentences after unfair trials, men who might not think they have much to lose by breaking the rules. Conditions in the jails are reportedly awful, with what looked like an outbreak of scabies in Jaw late last year.

    One of Bahrain's most famous prisoners, leading human rights defender Abdulhadi al Khawaja, is currently on hunger strike in protest at the lack of medical care and other poor conditions.

    The most sensible solution to the prison overcrowding problem is to release all of those who shouldn't have been sentenced to serve time there in the first place. That would empty much of Jaw overnight. Human rights defenders like Dr Ali Alekri shouldn't be in Jaw; he and other civil society figures should be out helping Bahrain find a way out of its political crisis.

    If Jaw becomes a hotbed of political activism - a "university" for agitators - it will only increase the Baharaini government's problems in the long run. Bahraini authorities would do better to free the peaceful political leaders and others who shouldn't be in there at all, and start the sort of political dialogue Bahrain desperately needs.

     

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its concern about the ongoing restriction of the right to free expression in Bahrain. BCHR is appalled over the continued pattern of arbitrary arrests and detentions in Bahrain, most recently, the arrest and detention of a high school student and his teachers for singing verses of the Quran.

    On 11 March 2015, Hamed Saif, a high school student, and two teachers were charged with “insulting islam” and were detained after the student sang some verses of the Quran, accompanied by musical instruments, at an art competition organized by the school. The public prosecution declared that the authorities have questioned "the student who sang and the two teachers who trained him on the song and played music," and added that the three suspects face charges of profaning Islam and disrespecting its rituals. The public prosecution remanded them pending interrogation. The custody decision was based on a video clip published on social media showing the student singing verses from Al Fatiha (The Opening), the first chapter of the Quran, accompanied by another performer playing the cello.

    Last week, the Ministry of Education reiterated the Ministry of Interior’s accusations and stated that: “The whole issue has been referred to education investigators and the necessary measures are being taken.”  Abdul Rahman Kanoo International School confirmed its cooperation with the Ministry in a public statement, affirming that the school is committed to the values of Islam and condemns any abuse of them. Furthermore, the school added that they refuse claims and allegations made “without verifying the accuracy and credibility of the information that was circulated.”

    The BCHR believes that the detention and prosecution of the student and the teachers for the mere practice of the freedom of expression is in violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

    In Bahrain, the government practices a systematic harassment of its citizens for exercising their right to free speech and expression which has lead to numerous arbitrary arrests. The BCHR is gravely concerned about the escalation of the repression exercised by the Bahraini government against freedom of speech and calls on the international community to intensify its efforts in pressuring the Bahraini government to:

     

    • Immediately release Hamed Saif and all persons who are detained for merely practicing their right to freedom of speech and expression online in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and drop all charges against them;
    • Urge the Bahraini government to repeal laws that infringe upon the internationally protected right of free expression.
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    (Beirut) – Authorities denied many prisoners contact with their families for up to 13 days in the aftermath of violent unrest at Jaw Prison on March 10, 2015. Bahraini authorities should order an investigation into overcrowding at the prison and the circumstances of the violence.

    “Bahraini security forces have a track record of using excessive force, so it’s natural that prisoners’ families were worried by lack of contract with relatives in Jaw Prison,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “The authorities should now determine whether overcrowded prison conditions contributed to the unrest and if the force used to quell it was proportionate.”

    Government-controlled newspapers claimed that inmates, many of whom are being held on politically motivated charges, engaged in violence after an altercation between prison guards and three visitors on March 10. Local rights groups, however, allege that security forces used excessive force against prisoners and that poor prison conditions contributed to the unrest.

    Zahra al-Koofi, one of the three visitors involved in the altercation with prison staff, told Human Rights Watch that at least 10 inmates witnessed the incident, which led to her arrest and that of her sister and brother-in-law. She said the group had missed their 10 a.m. visiting time with one family member and that prison staff refused to allow them an unscheduled visit with a second family member. Zahra al-Koofi and her brother-in-law were released the same day without charge, but her sister Leila remains in custody in Isa Town detention center on charges of assaulting a female prison officer.

    According to credible local sources Human Rights Watch interviewed, the incident sparked unrest in buildings 1, 3, 4, and 6 of Jaw Prison and led to the deployment of security forces in the prison. Images that Human Rights Watch has not been able to verify began to circulate on social media, apparently showing security forces inside the prison, the use of teargas inside the prison, and injured prisoners. On March 11, the Gulf Daily Newsreported that “pictures apparently taken inside the prison and uploaded to the Internet yesterday are believed to have been taken by inmates using smuggled mobile phones.”

    According to local rights groups many inmates called their families and reported that the security forces were using tear gas and rubber bullets in their efforts to regain control of the blocks affected by unrest. Human Rights Watch is not able to determine on the basis of available information whether or not the use of force by prison officials was proportionate to the threat they faced. 

    Family members of 18 Jaw Prison inmates contacted Human Rights Watch to say that they were unable to visit or communicate with their detained family members after the March 10 operation by security forces. Credible local sources told Human Rights Watch that many prisoners were able to make phone calls to their families on March 24.

    The wife of Naji Fateel, a human rights activist who received a 15-year sentence in September 2013 for establishing a group that aimed to change the constitution, said that an official at Jaw prison told her on March 11 that authorities had suspended all communication with and visits to inmates in building 4 because of damage done during the disturbances.


    Khadeeja al-Mousawi told Human Rights Watch she was granted access to the prison on March 15 to visit her husband, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. Her husband is one of 13 high-profile prisoners detained on politically motivated grounds and held in building 7, separate from the general prison population. She told Human Rights Watch that she saw staff denying family members access to the prison on the grounds that the prison was too badly damaged to allow them in. She said, though, that the prison did not look any different than on her previous visits.

    Abdulhadi al-Khawaja began a hunger strike on March 2 to protest violations of prisoners’ rights, demanding, among other things, that prison authorities address “the generally bad situation in the prison, especially in the recent period.” He has said that he will also stop taking glucose and minerals if prison authorities do not accede to his demands by March 29.

    Overcrowding in Jaw Prison was cited in a September 2013 report from the ombudsman within the Bahrain Ministry of in the Interior Ministry, which said that 1608 detainees were in a facility with a capacity of 1201 – making it 34 percent over capacity. The ombudsman reported that building 3, with a capacity of 72, then held 154 detainees, 62 of them children. Building 1 was 46 percent over capacity, and the number of inmates in building 4 exceeded its capacity by 34 percent.

    Although there are no figures for 2014 or 2015, in 2014, Bahraini courts sentenced more than 200 defendants to long prison sentences, including at least 70 to life terms, on terrorism or national security charges. All male convicts serve their sentences in Jaw Prison.

    The Bahrain Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission, set up by Royal Decree in 2013, has yet to report on conditions at Jaw Prison, but in August 2014 issued its first report on conditions in Dry Dock detention center, which since 2012 has been used for pretrial detention. Among other recommendations, it called for “urgent action to ensure the cleanliness of the wings and periodic overall maintenance” and the establishment of “procedures for the legal use of force in DDDC … with the provision of proper training for the staff.”

    Article 37 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners states that “prisoners shall be allowed under necessary supervision to communicate with their family and reputable friends at regular intervals, both by correspondence and by receiving visits.”

    Article 54 of the Standard Minimum Rules states that “[o]fficers of the institutions shall not, in their relations with the prisoners, use force except in self-defence or in cases of attempted escape, or active or passive physical resistance to an order based on law or regulations. Officers who have recourse to force must use no more than is strictly necessary.…”

    “Bahraini authorities should order an independent investigation to get to the bottom of what happened on March 10 at Jaw Prison,” Stork said. “That investigation should include whether the prison officials’ use of force was lawful and strictly necessary.”

     

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    At least 500 detainees injured after torture, and 10 transferred to solitary confinement

     

    Bahrain Centre for Human Rights expresses its concern at reports coming from inside Jaw Central Prison that detail the torture of detainees, injuries among their ranks and their transfer to the solitary confinement block after a riot that occurred on Tuesday 10 March 2015. The incident began when a family protested after being prevented from visiting their relative. The Ministry of Interior claim that the family’s protest led to damage and vandalism in the visiting room- they say that this led to the arrest of one female Bahraini. On the same day, an uprising began in Buildings 1, 3, 4 and 6 of Jaw Central Prison. In the wake of this, police forces began to attack detainees. Photographs leaked from inside the prison, which BCHR has seen a copy of, show detainees were subjected to suffocation by tear gas during a huge security deployment in the prison.

    An eyewitness informed BCHR that the incident began in Building 1 of the prison, when police forces locked the main door to the building and then began shooting tear gas canisters and shotgun pellets into the prison. The detainees responded by throwing empty plastic water bottles. The police then headed to Building 3, where they again fired tear gas. As a result, clashes broke out in which a police officer received light injuries. There were a large number of cases of suffocation among the detainees. Minutes later, special forces entered Building 4 and began randomly beating detainees, only stopping when one of the convicted detainees, Mohammed Sarhan, succumbed to suffocation. Only moments later, special forces attacked the building a second time, leading to further cases of suffocation among the detainees. They also received injuries from rubber bullets and shotgun pellets. The eyewitness added that the first wing that the forces took control of was one housing detainees sentenced to life and substantial terms in prison. The majority of state forces were from the Jordanian Gendarmerie forces.

    The eyewitness told BCHR that large numbers of Jordanian Gendarmerie troops entered Building 4 of the prison and ordered detainees to stand in a line. They began beating the detainees with batons – the beatings were focused on sensitive areas of the body. The eyewitness added that the forces subsequently brought the detainees out of the courtyard behind the prison building and led them with their hands in plastic restraints, finally keeping some of the group on the ground before transferring others to the courtyard. There they were tortured and beaten. A group of them were taken to an unknown location which the witness was only later able to identify as Wing 10, which seems to constitute a number of private rooms – havens for the torture of detainees.

    A second eyewitness told BCHR that at around 20:00 on Tuesday 10 March 2015, a group of police officers attacked Building 3 of the prison, which is allocated to detainees from 18 to 21 years old. They began beating the detainees, who numbered over 500, with batons. The detainees were taken out to the building’s corridor and thrown to the floor, and the police officers jumped over their bodies. “The detainees were laid out like a bridge, and all the officers took part in stomping on their bodies. Many had broken bones and bruising to the ribs and the limbs”. The eyewitness adds, clearly describing the state of the detainees, that the detainees “were taken in a line out to the outer courtyard – they were surrounded by people beating them. It’s a distance of about 300 meters, for which they were surrounded by two lines of police who beat them one by one. After that they gathered in the outer courtyard and began calling out their names and asking them irrelevant questions – the aim of this was to incite the detainees in order to justify beating and photographing them. The detainees were organized into a line, and each member of the Gendarmerie and the riot police forces beat them with batons. This continued until noon the next day, and all occurred under the watch of Nasser Bukhait, who witnessed police forces beating detainees and confiscating the mobile telephones smuggled into the wing”.

    The eyewitness continues: “The detainees were told to stand in a line along the wall with their hands on their heads, and forced to chant slogans supportive of the regime. Others were forced to insult themselves and their relatives. Some were made to lick the shoes of police officers and to smear faeces on the wall. They were humiliated and made to dance and sing. This treatment went on until the evening – the detainees remained in the outer courtyard overnight before police woke them the following morning with a beating and further cursing. They were forbidden from visiting the toilet, and were forced to carry out their bodily functions in the courtyard. Some were forced to cut their hair and beards in a shabby fashion that caused a great deal of humiliation for them. At dawn on 12 March 2015 all the detainees were taken to the playground of Building 3, where security gards erected a big, dilapidated tent where the detainees were made to sleep while the building continued to be searched for smuggled mobile telephones. After that another group of detainees were brought. It was discovered later that they were from Building 6, which is allocated to detainees between 15 and 18”.

    “Movement was forbidden, and anyone who moved was beaten straight away. After a while they brought mobile cabins, a kind of mobile toilet. The detainees were finding it very difficult to carry out their bodily functions there. Due to the miserable situation they were experiencing, the detainees indicated that they would begin a hunger strike. However, the prison administration hired forces known within the prison as the “Safrah” forces – they consist of many different nationalities. The forces began beating the detainees with batons to force them to eat. When some of them refused they were taken to a corner and made to kneel. Their hands were tied behind their necks and they were threatened with death or being transferred to Wing 10. The detainees were subjected to many different forms of torture – when the shift of the police ended, the shift of the Jordanian Gendarmerie, who took even greater revenge against the detainees, would begin”.

    A leaked photograph shows the torture a detainee was subjected to inside the prison

    Instead of allowing local human rights groups to visit the prison and confirm the safety of conditions inside, the Interior Ministry ordered detainees to be deprived of visits and phone-calls with relatives. This is considered a contravention of international law governing the treatment of prisoners. BCHR has learned that some of the detainees were transferred to the General Prosecutor accused of inciting riot within the prison. BCHR can confirm that the names of detainees given in this report (find list below) are only those that witnesses were able to recall – news of others remains cut off at the time of publication.

    Based on the above, BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations, as well as all close allies of Bahrain and relevant international organisations to put pressure on the government to do the following:

    • Clarify the fate of the detainees and allow their relatives and lawyers to meet them and confirm that they are safe
    • Allow the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to enter the prison and investigate the state of the detainees
    • Halt the policy of collective punishment practiced inside the prison
    • Begin a fair and transparent investigation into the testimonies of torture as reported by witnesses and detainees
    • Bring to account those who have committed violations, whether by ordering it, supervising it or carrying it out – bring them to justice no matter how high their positions

     

    The following table lists the names of Building 3 detainees and the injuries they suffered, according to witness testimony:

    Name

    Region

    Injury

    Mohammed Majid Bahman

    al-Manama

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Akbar Ali Ali

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Yousef Hilal

    al-Musali

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Abdallah Mahmoud

    al-Naim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Fuad al-Eskafi

    al-Diraz

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Abdallah Mohammed

    Sar

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Abdel Amir

    al-Dih

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Akbar

    al-Moamir

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Basil Ibrahim

    al-Sehla

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Nouh al-Hayaki

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Amjad al-Sheikh

    Hamad town – district 17

    Injury to the face and broken nose

    Sayyid Dhiyaa al-Musawi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed al-Sharqi

    Hamad town – district 4

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Alaa Mansour Nasif

    Bani Jamra

    Transferred to Wing 10

    Ali Maki

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hassan Abdallah al-Ghasra

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdel Amir

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Jaafar

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Abdel Ruuf

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Amran

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdallah Yousef

    al-Akr

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Abdel Hadi

    al-Manama

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdel Jalil

    Ras Raman

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Abdel Sadiq

    al-Akr

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Ibrahim

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Murtada Abdel Hadi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Majid al-Musawi

    Buri

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Jaafar Fatil

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Shabar Alawi

    Salmabad

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Baqir Abdallah Amir

    al-Sahla

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Abu Aboud

    Salmabad

    Beating with batons and kicking and transfer to Wing 10

    Hussein Hassan Jaafar

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Kadhem Abbas

    Salmabad

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Rida Hassan

    al-Dir

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Hussein al-Musawi

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed al-Basri

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Ibrahim al-Miqdad

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sadiq Jaafar

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdel Rida al-Halibi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hani al-Manami

    Sitra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Abdel Aziz

    Salmabad

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Hussein Mohammed al-Fardan

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Salman Ibrahim

    al-Manama

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ridha Imran

    Sitra

     

    Ali Jaafar

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Ali Abbas al-Asfour

    al-Diraz

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Jihad Sadeq al-Habashi

    Jablat Habashi

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Haydar al-Musawi

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Ali al-Musawi

    Ras Raman

    Gash to the face

    Qassim al-Batan

    al-Diraz

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Naama

    al-Diraz

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Ammar Mansour al-Suwad

    Sitra

    Injury to the hand caused by sound bomb, gash to the face and bruising on the body

    Sayyid Sandid al-Musawi

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ahmed Hassan

    al-Nuwidrat

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Hussein Mohammed Ali

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ammar al-Sitri

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Yousef Malallah

    al-Nuwidrat

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Mohammed Khaims Madan

    Abu Qiwa

    Injury to the hand caused by sound bomb, gash to the face and bruising on the entire body

    Ahmed Hassan Yousef

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Hassan Yousef

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Mohammed Yousef

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Rida Abdel Amir

    Aali

    Gash to the face and bruising to the entire body – diabetes sufferer who has fallen into a coma many times

    Isa al-Khuzna

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Jaafar

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Ali Ahmed

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mahmoud Ali Hassan

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hassan Musa Jaafar

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ali Musa Jaafar

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Sayyid Jaafar Sayyid Abbas

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Sayyid Jaafar Sayyid Naji

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Sayyid Ali Sayyid Naji

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Aziz

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mustafa Ahmed Yousef

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hassan Mohammed Hassan

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Abdallah Hassan Salman

    al-Akr

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Dhaif Abdelnabi

    Sitra

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Musa Abdel Ali

    Samahij

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed Abdel Jalil al-Sitrawi

    Samahij

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed Aoun

    Samahij

    Injuries to the thigh and leg, and a deterioration of the condition around his eye, which he lost after a direct gunshot

    Ali Musa Leith

    Dar Kalib

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Sayyid Hassan Falah

    al-Manama

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Suleiman Habib Ibrahim

    Hamad town – district 17

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hassan Aziz Faisal

    al-Dir

    Moved to Wing 10

    Ali Jamaa Ibrahim

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – sufferer of sickle cell disease

    Mahmoud Jamil

    Jardab

    Injuries to the back and neck

    Wahib Abdallah Ahmed

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ali Hassan al-Aradi

    Arad

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ahmed al-Baqali

    Jadhafas

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Mahmoud Abdallah al-Aradi

    Arad

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed Hamza Mirza

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Jasim Abdallah Yousef

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hussein Abdel Karim

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Amir Isa al-Hayaki

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Abdallah Hussein al-Ajouz

    Hamad town – district 17

    Injuries to the back and leg – sufferer of soft bone disease

    Mohammed Abdallah Boutaki

    Sitra

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed al-Sousou

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hussein Mahdi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Mohammed al-Sharqi

    Jadhafas

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Mohammed Amin Abdel Hakim

    Arad

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Hussein Awwal

    Ras Raman

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Sayyid Mohammed Abdel Muhsen

    al-Muhriq

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Amir Nadir

    al-Muhriq

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Adnan Abdel Majid

    al-Muhriq

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Amin Shaaban al-Mazin

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Suffered direct shot to the kidneys, although authorities know that he suffers from kidney failure and has had operations for this – also suffered suffocation and swallowed his tongue

    Ali Isa

    al-Dir

    Injuries to the back and legs, and direct hit to the hand and stomach from a sound bomb

    Ayman Salman

    Samahij

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hussein Mahdi

    Dar Kalib

    Moved to Wing 10

    Yousef Ahmed Yousef

    Dar Kalib

    Moved to Wing 10

    Yousef Ahmed Abdelnabi

    Dar Kalib

    Moved to Wing 10

    Ahmed al-Habashi

    Arad

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hussein Aziz Faisal

    al-Dir

    Moved to Wing 10

    Mohammed Abdel Amir Musheimah

    al-Dih

    Moved to Wing 10

     

    The following table gives the details of the detainees of Building 4 according to eyewitnesses:

     

    Name

    Region

    Injury

    Ali Hamid

     

    Swelling to the eye – he was also dragged by his hair to the outer courtyard and suffered extreme dizziness

    Abdallah Jaafar al-Wazir

     

    Injuries to the shoulder and back – beaten in the outer courtyard

    Hussein Ali al-Sehlawi

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    Kamil Ahmed Ali

    Karezkan

    Swelling to the eye due to beating with batons

    Jaafar Ahmed Ali

    Karezkan

    Injury to the head – forced to shave his head

    Hussein Mohammed Khatim

    Karezkan

    Was assaulted at the site of a previous injury from an operation – collapsed in outer courtyard and moved to Wing 10

    Hussein Ali Salman al-Marzuq

    al-Diraz

    Forced to shave his head and beaten with batons

    Hussein Jasim al-Helou

    al-Nuwidrat

    Injuries to the shoulder and back – beaten with batons and had his head forcibly shaved

    Mohammed Ahmed Sarhan

     

    Beaten, humiliated and forcibly shaved – sustained back injury

    Ali Qamir

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beaten with batons – sustained injuries throughout his body

    Ali Yousef

    Karezkan

    Severely beaten leading to injuries to his back and swelling to his hand

    Hassan Muslem

    al-Muhriq

    Beaten with batons

    Ustad Mohammed

     

    Suffocation

    Jasim Sharara

    al-Malikia

    Taken to unknown location

    Ridha

    Qadhiat Rayat al-Iz

    Broken leg

    Ibrahim Jaafar

    Hamad town

    Swelling near the eye – beaten in sensitive areas

    Younis Jaafar

     

    Bruising to the shoulder

    Kadhim

    al-Sehla

    Gash to the head caused by direct hit

    Bashir

    al-Sehla

    Severely beaten on the back with batons leaving his clothes ripped

    Jasim Fallah

    Damestan

    Broken hand and heavy bleeding

    Naji Fatil

     

    Moved to Wing 10 after severe beating

    Mohammed Mirza “Abu Jibrail”

     

    Unable to move – transferred to Wing 10

    Ahmed Hassan Mashaymah

    Jadhafas

    Beaten with batons over his entire body

    Qasim Zein al-Din

    al-Diraz

    Injury to the back

    Younes Hadhir

    al-Diraz

    Injuries to the shoulders and legs

    Sayyid Mazen

    al-Dir

    Beaten with batons

    Sadeq Marhoun

     

    Beaten with batons

    Jaafar Maatouk

     

    Beaten with batons

    Younes Ashour

    Samahij

    Injury to the back

    Sayyid Abdallah al-Alawi

    Samahij

    Hair forcibly shaved, beaten with batons

    Jaafar Hamid

    Sitra

    Beaten with batons

    Hussein Ramadan

    Sitra

    Beaten with batons

    Mujtaba

    al-Dir

    Beaten with batons

    Salman

    al-Dir

    Beaten with batons

    Sayyid Mahdi Sayyid Ahmed

    Sitra

    Beaten with batons

    Hamid al-Safi

    Sitra

    Injury to the back

    Fadhil Abbas

    Karzakan

    Beaten with batons

    Hussein Ali

    Samahij

    Beaten with batons

    Sayyid Mohammed Sayyid Alawi

    al-Sanabas

    Beaten with batons

    Salman Zein

    al-Sanabas

    Beaten with batons

    Jaafar

    Karzakan

    Dislocated shoulder

    Hussein Ghazwan

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beaten with batons

    Berbeer

    Samahij

    Injury to the leg

    Jaafar Abdallah

     

    Injuries to the head and thigh

    Khalil Abdallah

     

    Beaten with batons

    Abbas al-Akari

    al-Dih

    Injury to the leg – beaten with batons

    Salman al-Shenu

     

    Broken hand

    Ahmed Bu Hassan

    al-Diraz

    Injuries to the wrist

    Jaafar Aoun

    Samahij

    Severe beating by punching throughout his body – moved to Wing 10

    Abd Ali al-Sankis

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    Raid

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    al-Jaziri

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hamid al-Mahfudh

     

    Sickle cell disease sufferer beaten with batons and moved to Wing 10

    Abbas al-Samie

    al-Sanabas

    Beaten with batons and moved to Wing 10

    Sheikh Ali al-Mustarshid

     

    Fainted, beaten with batons

    Jaafar Kawitan

     

    Broken hand

    Sheikh Zuhir Ashour

    Karzakan

    Beaten with batons

    Ibrahim Mashkour

    Abu Qiwa

    Beaten with batons

    Sheikh Mahdi

     

    Beaten with batons

    Sheikh Riyadh al-Hani

     

    Beaten with batons

    Ali al-Binaa

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beaten with batons

    Yousef Ahmed al-Maamiri

     

    Beaten with batons

    Sayyid Ahmed

    Buri

    Beaten with batons

    al-Abid

    Salmabad

    Beaten with batons

    Aqil

    al-Akr

    Sufferer of mental health problems beaten with batons

     

     

    Bahrain: Eye-witnesses tell BCHR the details of an assault at Jaw Central Prison

     

    At least 500 detainees injured after torture, and 10 transferred to solitary confinement

     

    Bahrain Centre for Human Rights expresses its concern at reports coming from inside Jaw Central Prison that detail the torture of detainees, injuries among their ranks and their transfer to the solitary confinement block after a riot that occurred on Tuesday 10 March 2015. The incident began when a family protested after being prevented from visiting their relative. The Ministry of Interior claim that the family’s protest led to damage and vandalism in the visiting room- they say that this led to the arrest of one female Bahraini. On the same day, an uprising began in Buildings 1, 3, 4 and 6 of Jaw Central Prison. In the wake of this, police forces began to attack detainees. Photographs leaked from inside the prison, which BCHR has seen a copy of, show detainees were subjected to suffocation by tear gas during a huge security deployment in the prison.

     

    An eyewitness informed BCHR that the incident began in Building 1 of the prison, when police forces locked the main door to the building and then began shooting tear gas canisters and shotgun pellets into the prison. The detainees responded by throwing empty plastic water bottles. The police then headed to Building 3, where they again fired tear gas. As a result, clashes broke out in which a police officer received light injuries. There were a large number of cases of suffocation among the detainees. Minutes later, special forces entered Building 4 and began randomly beating detainees, only stopping when one of the convicted detainees, Mohammed Sarhan, succumbed to suffocation. Only moments later, special forces attacked the building a second time, leading to further cases of suffocation among the detainees. They also received injuries from rubber bullets and shotgun pellets. The eyewitness added that the first wing that the forces took control of was one housing detainees sentenced to life and substantial terms in prison. The majority of state forces were from the Jordanian Gendarmerie forces.

     

    The eyewitness told BCHR that large numbers of Jordanian Gendarmerie troops entered Building 4 of the prison and ordered detainees to stand in a line. They began beating the detainees with batons – the beatings were focused on sensitive areas of the body. The eyewitness added that the forces subsequently brought the detainees out of the courtyard behind the prison building and led them with their hands in plastic restraints, finally keeping some of the group on the ground before transferring others to the courtyard. There they were tortured and beaten. A group of them were taken to an unknown location which the witness was only later able to identify as Wing 10, which seems to constitute a number of private rooms – havens for the torture of detainees.

     

    A second eyewitness told BCHR that at around 20:00 on Tuesday 10 March 2015, a group of police officers attacked Building 3 of the prison, which is allocated to detainees from 18 to 21 years old. They began beating the detainees, who numbered over 500, with batons. The detainees were taken out to the building’s corridor and thrown to the floor, and the police officers jumped over their bodies. “The detainees were laid out like a bridge, and all the officers took part in stomping on their bodies. Many had broken bones and bruising to the ribs and the limbs”. The eyewitness adds, clearly describing the state of the detainees, that the detainees “were taken in a line out to the outer courtyard – they were surrounded by people beating them. It’s a distance of about 300 meters, for which they were surrounded by two lines of police who beat them one by one. After that they gathered in the outer courtyard and began calling out their names and asking them irrelevant questions – the aim of this was to incite the detainees in order to justify beating and photographing them. The detainees were organized into a line, and each member of the Gendarmerie and the riot police forces beat them with batons. This continued until noon the next day, and all occurred under the watch of Nasser Bukhait, who witnessed police forces beating detainees and confiscating the mobile telephones smuggled into the wing”.

     

    The eyewitness continues: “The detainees were told to stand in a line along the wall with their hands on their heads, and forced to chant slogans supportive of the regime. Others were forced to insult themselves and their relatives. Some were made to lick the shoes of police officers and to smear faeces on the wall. They were humiliated and made to dance and sing. This treatment went on until the evening – the detainees remained in the outer courtyard overnight before police woke them the following morning with a beating and further cursing. They were forbidden from visiting the toilet, and were forced to carry out their bodily functions in the courtyard. Some were forced to cut their hair and beards in a shabby fashion that caused a great deal of humiliation for them. At dawn on 12 March 2015 all the detainees were taken to the playground of Building 3, where security gards erected a big, dilapidated tent where the detainees were made to sleep while the building continued to be searched for smuggled mobile telephones. After that another group of detainees were brought. It was discovered later that they were from Building 6, which is allocated to detainees between 15 and 18”.

     

    “Movement was forbidden, and anyone who moved was beaten straight away. After a while they brought mobile cabins, a kind of mobile toilet. The detainees were finding it very difficult to carry out their bodily functions there. Due to the miserable situation they were experiencing, the detainees indicated that they would begin a hunger strike. However, the prison administration hired forces known within the prison as the “Safrah” forces – they consist of many different nationalities. The forces began beating the detainees with batons to force them to eat. When some of them refused they were taken to a corner and made to kneel. Their hands were tied behind their necks and they were threatened with death or being transferred to Wing 10. The detainees were subjected to many different forms of torture – when the shift of the police ended, the shift of the Jordanian Gendarmerie, who took even greater revenge against the detainees, would begin”.

     

    A leaked photograph shows the torture a detainee was subjected to inside the prison

     

    Instead of allowing local human rights groups to visit the prison and confirm the safety of conditions inside, the Interior Ministry ordered detainees to be deprived of visits and phone-calls with relatives. This is considered a contravention of international law governing the treatment of prisoners. BCHR has learned that some of the detainees were transferred to the General Prosecutor accused of inciting riot within the prison. BCHR can confirm that the names of detainees given in this report (find list below) are only those that witnesses were able to recall – news of others remains cut off at the time of publication.

     

    Based on the above, BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations, as well as all close allies of Bahrain and relevant international organisations to put pressure on the government to do the following:

    • Clarify the fate of the detainees and allow their relatives and lawyers to meet them and confirm that they are safe
    • Allow the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to enter the prison and investigate the state of the detainees
    • Halt the policy of collective punishment practiced inside the prison
    • Begin a fair and transparent investigation into the testimonies of torture as reported by witnesses and detainees
    • Bring to account those who have committed violations, whether by ordering it, supervising it or carrying it out – bring them to justice no matter how high their positions

     

     

     

     

    The following table lists the names of Building 3 detainees and the injuries they suffered, according to witness testimony:

     

     

     

    Name

    Region

    Injury

    Mohammed Majid Bahman

    al-Manama

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Akbar Ali Ali

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Yousef Hilal

    al-Musali

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Abdallah Mahmoud

    al-Naim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Fuad al-Eskafi

    al-Diraz

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Abdallah Mohammed

    Sar

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Abdel Amir

    al-Dih

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Akbar

    al-Moamir

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Basil Ibrahim

    al-Sehla

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Nouh al-Hayaki

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Amjad al-Sheikh

    Hamad town – district 17

    Injury to the face and broken nose

    Sayyid Dhiyaa al-Musawi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed al-Sharqi

    Hamad town – district 4

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Alaa Mansour Nasif

    Bani Jamra

    Transferred to Wing 10

    Ali Maki

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hassan Abdallah al-Ghasra

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdel Amir

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Jaafar

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Abdel Ruuf

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Amran

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdallah Yousef

    al-Akr

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Abdel Hadi

    al-Manama

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdel Jalil

    Ras Raman

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Abdel Sadiq

    al-Akr

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Ibrahim

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Murtada Abdel Hadi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Majid al-Musawi

    Buri

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Jaafar Fatil

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Shabar Alawi

    Salmabad

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Baqir Abdallah Amir

    al-Sahla

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Abu Aboud

    Salmabad

    Beating with batons and kicking and transfer to Wing 10

    Hussein Hassan Jaafar

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Kadhem Abbas

    Salmabad

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Mohammed Rida Hassan

    al-Dir

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Hussein al-Musawi

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed al-Basri

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Ibrahim al-Miqdad

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sadiq Jaafar

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ali Abdel Rida al-Halibi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hani al-Manami

    Sitra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Abdel Aziz

    Salmabad

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Hussein Mohammed al-Fardan

    Bani Jamra

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Salman Ibrahim

    al-Manama

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ridha Imran

    Sitra

     

    Ali Jaafar

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Ali Abbas al-Asfour

    al-Diraz

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Jihad Sadeq al-Habashi

    Jablat Habashi

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Haydar al-Musawi

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Sayyid Ali al-Musawi

    Ras Raman

    Gash to the face

    Qassim al-Batan

    al-Diraz

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Naama

    al-Diraz

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Ammar Mansour al-Suwad

    Sitra

    Injury to the hand caused by sound bomb, gash to the face and bruising on the body

    Sayyid Sandid al-Musawi

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ahmed Hassan

    al-Nuwidrat

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Hussein Mohammed Ali

    Dar Kalib

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ammar al-Sitri

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Ahmed Yousef Malallah

    al-Nuwidrat

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received

    Mohammed Khaims Madan

    Abu Qiwa

    Injury to the hand caused by sound bomb, gash to the face and bruising on the entire body

    Ahmed Hassan Yousef

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Hassan Yousef

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Hussein Mohammed Yousef

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beating with batons and kicking

    Rida Abdel Amir

    Aali

    Gash to the face and bruising to the entire body – diabetes sufferer who has fallen into a coma many times

    Isa al-Khuzna

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Jaafar

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Ali Ahmed

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mahmoud Ali Hassan

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hassan Musa Jaafar

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ali Musa Jaafar

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Sayyid Jaafar Sayyid Abbas

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Sayyid Jaafar Sayyid Naji

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Sayyid Ali Sayyid Naji

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mohammed Aziz

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Mustafa Ahmed Yousef

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hassan Mohammed Hassan

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Abdallah Hassan Salman

    al-Akr

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Dhaif Abdelnabi

    Sitra

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Musa Abdel Ali

    Samahij

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed Abdel Jalil al-Sitrawi

    Samahij

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed Aoun

    Samahij

    Injuries to the thigh and leg, and a deterioration of the condition around his eye, which he lost after a direct gunshot

    Ali Musa Leith

    Dar Kalib

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Sayyid Hassan Falah

    al-Manama

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Suleiman Habib Ibrahim

    Hamad town – district 17

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hassan Aziz Faisal

    al-Dir

    Moved to Wing 10

    Ali Jamaa Ibrahim

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – sufferer of sickle cell disease

    Mahmoud Jamil

    Jardab

    Injuries to the back and neck

    Wahib Abdallah Ahmed

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ali Hassan al-Aradi

    Arad

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Ahmed al-Baqali

    Jadhafas

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Mahmoud Abdallah al-Aradi

    Arad

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed Hamza Mirza

    al-Dir

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Jasim Abdallah Yousef

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hussein Abdel Karim

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Amir Isa al-Hayaki

    Samahij

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Abdallah Hussein al-Ajouz

    Hamad town – district 17

    Injuries to the back and leg – sufferer of soft bone disease

    Mohammed Abdallah Boutaki

    Sitra

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Ahmed al-Sousou

    Sitra

    Unable to move due to the intensity of the beating he received – gash to the face

    Hussein Mahdi

    Hamad town – district 17

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Mohammed al-Sharqi

    Jadhafas

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Mohammed Amin Abdel Hakim

    Arad

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Hussein Awwal

    Ras Raman

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Sayyid Mohammed Abdel Muhsen

    al-Muhriq

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Amir Nadir

    al-Muhriq

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Adnan Abdel Majid

    al-Muhriq

    Injuries to the back and leg

    Amin Shaaban al-Mazin

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Suffered direct shot to the kidneys, although authorities know that he suffers from kidney failure and has had operations for this – also suffered suffocation and swallowed his tongue

    Ali Isa

    al-Dir

    Injuries to the back and legs, and direct hit to the hand and stomach from a sound bomb

    Ayman Salman

    Samahij

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hussein Mahdi

    Dar Kalib

    Moved to Wing 10

    Yousef Ahmed Yousef

    Dar Kalib

    Moved to Wing 10

    Yousef Ahmed Abdelnabi

    Dar Kalib

    Moved to Wing 10

    Ahmed al-Habashi

    Arad

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hussein Aziz Faisal

    al-Dir

    Moved to Wing 10

    Mohammed Abdel Amir Musheimah

    al-Dih

    Moved to Wing 10

     

    The following table gives the details of the detainees of Building 4 according to eyewitnesses:

     

    Name

    Region

    Injury

    Ali Hamid

     

    Swelling to the eye – he was also dragged by his hair to the outer courtyard and suffered extreme dizziness

    Abdallah Jaafar al-Wazir

     

    Injuries to the shoulder and back – beaten in the outer courtyard

    Hussein Ali al-Sehlawi

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    Kamil Ahmed Ali

    Karezkan

    Swelling to the eye due to beating with batons

    Jaafar Ahmed Ali

    Karezkan

    Injury to the head – forced to shave his head

    Hussein Mohammed Khatim

    Karezkan

    Was assaulted at the site of a previous injury from an operation – collapsed in outer courtyard and moved to Wing 10

    Hussein Ali Salman al-Marzuq

    al-Diraz

    Forced to shave his head and beaten with batons

    Hussein Jasim al-Helou

    al-Nuwidrat

    Injuries to the shoulder and back – beaten with batons and had his head forcibly shaved

    Mohammed Ahmed Sarhan

     

    Beaten, humiliated and forcibly shaved – sustained back injury

    Ali Qamir

    al-Nuwidrat

    Beaten with batons – sustained injuries throughout his body

    Ali Yousef

    Karezkan

    Severely beaten leading to injuries to his back and swelling to his hand

    Hassan Muslem

    al-Muhriq

    Beaten with batons

    Ustad Mohammed

     

    Suffocation

    Jasim Sharara

    al-Malikia

    Taken to unknown location

    Ridha

    Qadhiat Rayat al-Iz

    Broken leg

    Ibrahim Jaafar

    Hamad town

    Swelling near the eye – beaten in sensitive areas

    Younis Jaafar

     

    Bruising to the shoulder

    Kadhim

    al-Sehla

    Gash to the head caused by direct hit

    Bashir

    al-Sehla

    Severely beaten on the back with batons leaving his clothes ripped

    Jasim Fallah

    Damestan

    Broken hand and heavy bleeding

    Naji Fatil

     

    Moved to Wing 10 after severe beating

    Mohammed Mirza “Abu Jibrail”

     

    Unable to move – transferred to Wing 10

    Ahmed Hassan Mashaymah

    Jadhafas

    Beaten with batons over his entire body

    Qasim Zein al-Din

    al-Diraz

    Injury to the back

    Younes Hadhir

    al-Diraz

    Injuries to the shoulders and legs

    Sayyid Mazen

    al-Dir

    Beaten with batons

    Sadeq Marhoun

     

    Beaten with batons

    Jaafar Maatouk

     

    Beaten with batons

    Younes Ashour

    Samahij

    Injury to the back

    Sayyid Abdallah al-Alawi

    Samahij

    Hair forcibly shaved, beaten with batons

    Jaafar Hamid

    Sitra

    Beaten with batons

    Hussein Ramadan

    Sitra

    Beaten with batons

    Mujtaba

    al-Dir

    Beaten with batons

    Salman

    al-Dir

    Beaten with batons

    Sayyid Mahdi Sayyid Ahmed

    Sitra

    Beaten with batons

    Hamid al-Safi

    Sitra

    Injury to the back

    Fadhil Abbas

    Karzakan

    Beaten with batons

    Hussein Ali

    Samahij

    Beaten with batons

    Sayyid Mohammed Sayyid Alawi

    al-Sanabas

    Beaten with batons

    Salman Zein

    al-Sanabas

    Beaten with batons

    Jaafar

    Karzakan

    Dislocated shoulder

    Hussein Ghazwan

    al-Bilad al-Qadim

    Beaten with batons

    Berbeer

    Samahij

    Injury to the leg

    Jaafar Abdallah

     

    Injuries to the head and thigh

    Khalil Abdallah

     

    Beaten with batons

    Abbas al-Akari

    al-Dih

    Injury to the leg – beaten with batons

    Salman al-Shenu

     

    Broken hand

    Ahmed Bu Hassan

    al-Diraz

    Injuries to the wrist

    Jaafar Aoun

    Samahij

    Severe beating by punching throughout his body – moved to Wing 10

    Abd Ali al-Sankis

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    Raid

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    al-Jaziri

     

    Moved to Wing 10

    Hamid al-Mahfudh

     

    Sickle cell disease sufferer beaten with batons and moved to Wing 10

    Abbas al-Samie

    al-Sanabas

    Beaten with batons and moved to Wing 10

    Sheikh Ali al-Mustarshid

     

    Fainted, beaten with batons

    Jaafar Kawitan

     

    Broken hand

    Sheikh Zuhir Ashour

    Karzakan

    Beaten with batons

    Ibrahim Mashkour

    Abu Qiwa

    Beaten with batons

    Sheikh Mahdi

     

    Beaten with batons

    Sheikh Riyadh al-Hani

     

    Beaten with batons

    Ali al-Binaa

    Hamad town – district 17

    Beaten with batons

    Yousef Ahmed al-Maamiri

     

    Beaten with batons

    Sayyid Ahmed

    Buri

    Beaten with batons

    al-Abid

    Salmabad

    Beaten with batons

    Aqil

    al-Akr

    Sufferer of mental health problems beaten with batons

     

     

    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

    0 0

    27 March 2015 – London – Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) urge for the immediate release of Fadhel Abbas, the Secretary General of the Democratic Unity Gathering Society (Al Wahdawi) in Bahrain, after being detained on charges related to his freedom of opinion and expression. The said organizations also express concerns over the mounting civilian death toll in Yemen as a consequence of the Arab Coalition air strikes.

    On 26 March, the Bahrain Ministry of Interior (MOI) announced that Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia and other Arab States in air strikes in Yemen. Following the announcement, the MOI issued a statement warning to take steps against anyone expressing opinions “against the approach that Bahrain has taken”.

    Following the warning, the Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of two individuals whom had expressed their opinions against the war in Yemen. Fadhel Abbas was one of those individuals. He was arrested on the same day the Al Wahdawi Political Society in Bahrain published a statement on Twitter condemning the country’s involvement in the war in Yemen.

    “There are few things more ironic than Bahrain plunging its nation into foreign war without any public consultation, then detaining citizens at home for voicing opposition against the war on grounds of “putting the safety and security of the country at risk”, said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei the Director of Advocacy at BIRD.

    Immediately following the detention of Mr. Abbas, the MOI announced that it had taken steps to dissolve the Al Wahdawi Political Society on the grounds of “undermining national security”. The society had already been previously suspended.

    The air strikes in Yemen that commenced on 26 March, have reportedly led to the deaths of 25 civilians including 6 children under the age of 10. The high civilian death toll on the first day of the air strikes has raised concerns over the ability of the parties involved in the conflict to uphold binding principles of international humanitarian law and customary international law including the principles of necessity and proportionality.

    Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of ADHRB stated, “It is important that all precautions be taken to protect the innocent civilians that have been caught in the crossfire of this conflict and that all parties involved uphold the principles of international humanitarian law.”

    As a party to the conflict, Bahrain has an obligation under the Geneva Conventions its optional protocols, and customary international law to ensure that its actions in Yemen distinguish between civilians and combatants and distinguishes between civilian and military objects. If an attack is expected to cause incidental loss of life or damage to civilian objects, Bahrain must ensure that it is proportionate to the direct military advantage. This includes taking all feasible precautions to reduce incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects and to avoid indiscriminate attacks at all costs.

    Bahrain is also party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights which upholds the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

    The aforementioned organisations call on Bahrain to:

    1. Launch an immediate investigation into the loss of civilian life in Yemen and if a breach of international humanitarian law is found, those involved should be held accountable.
    2. Respect the right to freedom of expression and assembly and to release all individuals detained on charges related to their inherent freedoms.
    3. Respect its obligations under international humanitarian law and customary international law including the principle of distinction, necessity and proportionality.
    Document Type: 
    Feature: 

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