Published on Front Line
Bahrain: Torture and ill-treatment of human rights defenders in detentionBy jimloughran
Created 2008/01/18 - 10:46
Front Line is deeply concerned following reports received concerning the alleged torture and ill-treatment of a number of human rights defenders who are presently in detention or who have just been released. From reports received, Abdullah Mohsen Abdulah Saleh, Naji Ali Fateel, Mohammed Abdullah Al Sengais, Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh, Ahmad Jaffar Mohammed Ali, Hassan Abdulnabi, Hassan Abdelnabi Hassan and Ebrahim Mohamed Amin-Al-Arab have all been victim of either ill-treatment or torture while being detained in the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).
Posted 18/01/2007 The aforementioned human rights defenders were among eleven human rights defenders arrested by the Special Security Forces (SFF) between 21 and 28 December 2007, following demonstrations in Manama on 17 December 2007. Three of whom have been released are Shaker Mohammed Abdul-Hussein Abdul-Aal, Majid Salman Ibrahim Al-Haddad, and Nader Ali Ahmad Al-Salatna.
Front Line has received reports that human rights defenders in detention have been subjected to physical and psychological ill-treatment and torture, including reports of sexually abusive torture. According to reports received, Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh has been the victim of rape, he was allegedly sodomised with a wooden stick. Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh may have been subjected to a practice that is known as Falaqah in Bahrain, where the victim’s hands and feet are tied together, and the detainee is then lifted by a wooden bar. It is reported that a number of human rights defenders have been electrocuted, reportedly Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh has been subjected to electrocution, on different parts of his body including his genitals.
Further reports detail that human rights defenders have been and are subject to physical abuse, verbal abuse, sleep and food deprivation, and sensory deprivation with all the human rights defenders being detained for prolonged periods in solitary confinement, and prolonged use of handcuffs and blindfolds. There are reports that human rights defenders are being forced to sleep on a cold floor and were physically beaten when they fell asleep. There are reports that the human rights defenders are being interrogated after having been tortured or ill-treated, and that when they are not being interrogated they are able to hear other people being tortured or ill-treated, with the result that they are constantly fearful.
Human rights defenders have been deprived from using the toilet and have been prevented from showering for at least ten days. A number of human rights defenders have forced to remain naked, and a number have been interrogated while being naked. They have been forbidden to pray at times and speak to each other. A number of human rights defenders have been forced to stand without rest, sometimes for three days on end. The human rights defenders are reportedly subject to death threats and constant verbal threats as well as their family members. The human rights defenders are being forced to remain in inhuman and degrading treatment, as their detention facilities are reportedly dirty, insect-infested and over-crowded.
Front Line has previously written to on 5 January 2008, in regards to the reports received of alleged ill-treatment and or torture of Naji Ali Fateel who had been detained in handcuffs and blindfolds for two weeks; Mohammed Abdullah Al Sengais who had been handcuffed and blindfolded for one week and he had been held in solitary confinement for approximately two weeks; that Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh who had been allegedly tortured, a witness reported that he had burn marks on his arms and on his stomach, as a result of having been electrocuted, he was also handcuffed for a period of time; Ahmad Jaffar Mohammed Ali who had been handcuffed possibly for a number of days as he had marks on his wrists; that Majid Salman Ibrahim Al-Haddad had been physically assaulted, as a result he has a perforated ear drum, which he is receiving medical treatment for and he had a hand injury. It has been alleged that some of the human rights defenders may have been ill-treated or tortured while being questioned.
Front Line believes that Abdullah Mohsen Abdulah Saleh, Naji Ali Fateel, Mohammed Abdullah Al Sengais, Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh, Ahmad Jaffar Mohammed Ali, Hassan Abdulnabi, Hassan Abdelnabi Hassan and Ebrahim Mohamed Amin-Al-Arab have been detained and subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading forms of ill-treatment and torture as a result of their legitimate and peaceful activities in defence of human rights.