May 12, 2017: The United Nations Committee against Torture today issued a strong critique of the Bahrain record on torture.
The concluding observations noted “with deep concern” the arbitrary imprisonment and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, in particular BCHR President Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja former BCHR President. The committee urged Bahrain to release human rights defenders who are deprived of their liberty in retaliation for their human rights work.
“The Committee against Torture clearly rejected the argument made by the Bahraini Government that counter-terrorism would be a valid excuse to abduct, interrogate and torture activists and political prisoners”, BCHR said today.
The Committee also said that Bahrain has largely failed to prosecute torture cases despite hundreds of allegations of torture in its detention facilities in the past few years, including many documented by BCHR.
As a matter of priority, the Committee also calls on the Bahraini Government to re-establish a moratorium on the imposition of the death penalty and is “gravely concerned” over reports that the trials of the three men convicted for killing three police officers in 2014 were based on confessions obtained under torture.
Other problems the committee flagged include domestic violence and the practices of housing children in adult jails and prisons.
The Committee against Torture is an international body of experts that monitors state compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.