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BFHR Issues "Torture Victims: Incidents of Announced Death" Stressing Continuation and Expansion of Torture Methods

Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights issued a report entitled "Torture Victims: Incidents of Announced Death" marking the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which falls on June 26, 2023, in which it reviewed the patterns of torture and ill-treatment in Bahrain. The report indicated that "the official authorities have not taken any serious measures to put an end to the policy of torture despite all international and local reports in this regard."

The forum monitored in its report "the patterns used as means of torture and ill-treatment, which are expanded sometimes, as is the case with the denial of treatment technique, which may be in the form of direct negligence, tampering with medical appointments, not allowing patient  to see a specialist doctor, delaying to expose patient to the doctor, or even imposing measures related to taking medications without a doctor's consult, like collective cases of scabies."

The report cited Bahrain's patterns of torture and ill-treatment: "denial of treatment, electric shocks, kicking, slapping and punching, unjustified detention for hours before the investigation begins, circulating the victim's image in the media before conviction, injury with a firearm to a level amounting to torture, denial of communication, short-term enforced disappearance, harmful chaining, threats of sexual assault against the victim or his or her family, solitary confinement for days, subjecting the victim to very high or low temperature, stripping of clothes, sexual assaults, standing for long hours, denial of food and drinks, denial of relieving  oneself and taking shower, sleep deprivation, hitting with hands and solid objects, insulting, sectarian insulting and enforced disappearance."

BFHR stressed that "Bahrain has ignored accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, despite numerous calls for its adoption of this Protocol." 

It pointed out that "the Bahraini authorities are working to invent means to mislead international human rights bodies about torture incidents, and did not allow the UN Special Rapporteur on torture to visit Manama, in addition to not allowing international monitoring mechanisms and prohibiting international human rights organizations from investigating torture claims." It said that the "The list of those involved in torture is secret, however, victims have revealed some of the names of the perpetrators, some of whom assume high security positions or promotions." 

The report tackled the conditions of those involved in cases of torture and ill-treatment, stressing that "despite all the international and local human rights reports issued on the incidents of torture and ill-treatment, the official authorities have not taken any serious measures to end the policy of torture." 

"Despite the issuance of only one official report in 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report," the head of the commission, Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, declared in his last stance on June 6, 2016, before his death on September 26, 2019, that "only 10 out of BICI 26 recommendations were implemented."

Bassiouni stressed that "the efforts made to do so haven't been met with success," and that "the government's mission is not over yet, even if the committee's mission is over."

Bassiouni explicitly called on the government of Bahrain to "release opposition leaders and political figures, and all those convicted on the basis of their faith and political opinions," and called for "continuing investigations into those responsible for the killing of five people under torture."

The Forum stressed that "the Bahraini authorities have not taken serious steps to end the policy of impunity, as there is no real accountability for those involved in torturing thousands of victims between 2011 and 2023, as well as previous years," noting that the Bahraini authorities should have allowed the UN special rapporteur on torture to visit Bahrain to open the torture file since Ian Henderson (died in 2013) took over the head of the State Security Investigations because many of the torture victims were alive at that time.

BFHR stressed that "the followed policies of impunity have caused the formation of a community of perpetrators of security personnel involved in torture cases, which enabled them to develop methods of torture, in the presence of a non-independent judiciary that pursues victims and provides protection for perpetrators."

Arabic Version