Torture claims in Bahrain to be probed
Manama, June 9, 2014
A high-level committee has been formed to probe allegations of torture and arbitrary arrests made by an opposition group.
Al Wefaq National Islamic Society released its annual human rights report yesterday which claims that more than 2,100 people were arrested last year by security forces, including 214 children, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The 130-page report, which also documents alleged human rights violations, was launched in Washington by former MP Mattar Mattar.
Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa yesterday ordered the formation of a committee to investigate claims made by the society.
"The committee will review allegations related to the Interior Ministry and make recommendations for necessary action," said the ministry in a statement.
The report documents the arrests of 2,192 people in 2013 of which 1,022 were allegedly detained during home raids.
It said the maximum arrests were made during April last year, adding that from 2011 until last year 7,342 people including men, women and children have been detained.
"These children are tried like adults with charges related to participating in illegal gatherings, rioting, burning tyres and attacking policemen with Molotov cocktails," stated the report.
The report, called Bahrain: Repression - The Shadow of Tyranny, stated that Bahrain's courts issued 169 verdicts of 15 year sentences and eight life imprisonments last year.
The report also registered 4,860 protests last year and 359 torture allegations including 144 cases outside prison and 53 in detention centres.
A total of 118 cases of alleged vandalism of religious places and other restrictions on religious freedom was also listed in the report, which comprised of different chapters on alleged violations related to arbitrary detention, prosecution of activists, torture, excessive use of force, and demolition of worship places.
In its recommendations, Al Wefaq called for accountability, the United Nations Human Rights Council to discuss Bahrain in their upcoming sessions, and setting up an office accredited with the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights among others. - TradeArabia News Service