Urgent Appeal - Dr. Al-Singace makes claims of torture to Public Prosecutor
“...I was handcuffed and blindfolded the entire time, they beat me on my fingers with a rigid instrument; they slapped me on my ears and I was pulled by my nipples and ears by tongs, and I was hit with a rigid object on my back and that was to force me to sign papers I had no knowledge what was written on them…” - Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace
• Transferring other detainees to hospitals without knowledge of their conditions in solitary confinement • The Public Prosecution bans any publication on the case in order to cover up torture and other violations • The continuation of temporary arbitrary kidnappings by the militias of the national security in which they are stripped naked and tortured • No other choice but to dissolve the national security apparatus and present those responsible to public independent trials • Any official in the government, who ordered or had knowledge of these violations without immediately stepping in to stop it, according to the International law, is legally responsible
28th August 2010
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has received with great concern information that Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace (Head of the Human Rights office at the HAQ movement) was subjected to severe physical and psychological torture in which he almost lost his hearing ability and has severe injuries in his back and other parts of his body. The information received also includes the transfer of some activists and human rights defenders to hospitals due to torture including Shaikh Mohammed Habib Almuqdad (religious figure, human rights activist and president of Alzahra charity society of orphans), Abdulghani Khanjar (head of the national martyrs committee and torture victims, and the official spokesperson for the Truth and Justice coalition which is made up 11 societies and organizations, both human rights and political), and Abdulhadi Alsaffer (active member of Committee against rise in prices and Detainees and families committees). The center has also been following up on the kidnappings committed by the national security militia in the Bahraini villages and streets in an offensive and arbitrary manner.
The torture of the human rights defender Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace:
One form of torture described by Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace to the Public Prosecutor, Nawaf Hamza, was that his hands were handcuffed and he was blindfolded the entire time he was detained more than 2 weeks ago on the morning of the 13th of August 2010. He was kept in solitary confinement, his prescription glasses were confiscated, and he was not allowed to shower for more than a week despite Bahrain’s severe heat. His wheelchair and crutches were taken from him, and thus he was forced to go to and from the cell door pulling himself with his arms. Dr. Alsingace was diagnosed with polio when he was two years old, resulting in complete paralysis in one leg and partial paralysis in the other; he usually depends almost completely on the wheelchair for his movement. As part of his torture he was kept standing on his partially paralyzed leg for two consecutive days.
Dr. Alsingace told the public prosecutor that he was repeatedly beaten on his fingers with a rigid object and slapped on both ears until he could barely hear from them. His nipples and earlobes were pulled with tongs which caused severe pain which he was still suffering from during his meeting with the public prosecutor. He was beaten with a rigid object on his back during the interrogation period in order to force him to sign papers of unknown content; they would lift his blindfold just so he could sign but not read the content. They made him listen to the sound of the electricity machines to scare him, as well as threatening to rape him and his female family members. Whenever he would start to fall asleep, they would play sudden loud sounds or the sound of sharp tools to startle him (a new torture tactic known for being used in the infamous Guantanamo prison). He was forced to listen to the screams of his fellow detainees caused by severe torture in adjunct rooms. Dr. Alsingace demanded from the public prosecutor that he immediately be allowed to get treated by a doctor for his severely injured back and his ears which he can barely hear from.
Other detainees were transported to hospitals with no knowledge about their solitary confinement conditions:
From left to right: Almuqdad, Alsaffar, Alkhanjar
On the evening of Thursday, 26th August 2010, witnesses told the Bahrain Center for Human Rights that they saw a large number of intelligence security forces in the Ministry of Interiors’ Police Fort clinic in Manama. With them were two detained human rights defenders Mr. Abdulghani Alkhanjar and Mr. Abdulhadi Alsaffar. They were then removed with a police ambulance to an unknown destination, suspected to be the military hospital in Riffa. There was similar information about the detainee Alshaikh Mohammed Habib Almuqdad, a religious figure involved in defending human rights and is the president of Alzahra society for Orphans. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights still has no information about the conditions these detainees are going through due to the solitary confinement enforced on them.
The Public Prosecution orders censor on the torture allegations and the activities of the National Security apparatus:
The newspapers published on, August 28th, 2010 a confirmation was made by the head public lawyer Abdulrahman Alsayed, that there was a ban on any publications about the case of Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace and the other detainees, which is currently undergoing in the Public Prosecution. On the other hand, the defendants lawyer Mohammed Altajer, as well as representatives of human rights organizations, condemned the terrorism law procedures used in dealing Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace and the other detainees; procedures which clearly go against the Universal Human Rights standards. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has reason to believe that the Public Prosecutions ban decision comes as an attempt to censor the torture allegations and other violations committed by the national security forces. This comes to confirm what the center had already stated in previous statements and reports about the clear complicity and the absence of integrity and independence of the public prosecution, which is a part of the judicial system. This decision may also confirm that the decision to ban publications comes to prove that the government is no longer able to convince the public and international opinions with the announcement they hastily publicized about revealing a secret organized network which incites violence; therefore they resort getting confessions through torture and they ban any publications except their own.
The continuation of temporary arbitrary kidnappings by the militias of the national security apparatus in which they are stripped naked and tortured:
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is continuously receiving information about kidnappings which started happening at around the same time as the arrests. The center continues to record new cases of arbitrary kidnappings and humiliation by stripping the victim naked and torturing them. In Nuwaidrat area, the father of a 16 year old boy complained to Alwasat Newspaper that his son was kidnapped and beaten by unknown men on the evening of the 26th of August 2010 as he was coming out of the mosque. The father told the newspaper: “my son, Mustafa Ahmed Moumen, was coming out of the mosque after the evening prayers walking towards his grandfather’s house, when he was cut off my a black landcruiser, with tinted windows. It stopped by my son and it had masked people inside wearing black clothes, they kidnapped my son by pulling him into the car and going to dark area where they took him out of the car. They beat him, tore his clothes off and tried to injure him with a sharp object. During that time my son tried to escape from them, and he was successful in doing so. They chased him with the car and ran over his leg, but he was not severely injured as the area was sandy and it lessened the injury. In an incident on the evening of the 15th of August 2010, as the student Jasim Ahmed Habib (16 years old) was with his three friends Ali Ibrahim (17 years old), his brother Ahmed Ibrahim and their friend Ali Jaffar Alaradi (15 years old) sitting next to a grave yard, suddenly a group of cars enclosed on them from all sides. 12 men in civilian clothing descended the cars and tied the boys’ hands behind their backs, blindfolded them, put them in the car and told them to keep their heads down. Jasim told the Bahrain Center for Human Rights in his statement, “They kept pushing my head down to the car floor, punching me and kicking me on all parts of my body.” He also added, “They then took us to a far place, maybe 15 minutes away from where we were kidnapped from, they took me out of the car on an unpaved street and they took me into a place I felt the floor was made of marble. I could feel that because I was not wearing shoes or any clothes as they had stripped me naked. I was standing naked the whole time they were beating me on all parts of my body, asking me to give them name of those inciting the burning of tires, my relationship to them and if I was one of them. I was in severe pain from the torture and beating and whenever I would complain of the severe pain they would double the amount of beating. After the call for morning prayers I was forbidden from performing my prayers. One of them tied me tightly and the other one started forcing me to drink water from a waterpipe (popularly known as hookah). I asked them to stop because I was fasting except they ridiculed me by saying “your fasting on our account this time!” The next morning they gave me my pants and my sandals and took me to their car where they beat me then threw me in Juffair at 5 am and they threw my clothes too. When I removed the blindfold from my eyes after they left I saw my friends lying next to me with only their pants on. My friend Hussain Ali Jaffar Alaradi had faced the same severe conditions of torture, except they stopped torturing him after he starting vomiting due to the severe beatings and the forceful drinking of the hookah water.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its grave concern in regards to the arbitrary arrest, solitary confinements, torture and maltreatment of the detainee victims. The center considers the ambush of civilians, the offending and humiliation on public streets of areas of protest, and the arbitrary kidnappings against those suspecting in taking parts in acts of protests, in which they are physically and sexually assaulted, that is the act of uncontrolled gangs and militias. These are not the acts of a governing body that respects itself and alleges the respect of human rights and law.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights appeals to all societies, organizations and legal institutions locally and internationally to act in order to demand:
1. The unconditional release of all the activists and human rights defenders who are detained with charges related to the political and security unrest clouding over the country. 2. The immediate termination of torturing the activists and human rights defenders, to allow them to be examined by neutral medical entities, to allow human rights organizations to visit their undisclosed detaining areas, to allow their families to visit them and to ensure all their rights according to international standards. 3. The immediate termination of the childish acts of assault and arbitrary kidnappings committed by gangs belonging to the national security service, and the dissolving of this entity and presenting those responsible for it to public, fair, and independent trials. 4. To launch serious channels of discussions with the general public of the society and to look into the crisis the country is undergoing. To terminate the systemized policies of sectarian discrimination and to ensure political, civil, economical and social rights instead of resorting to security measures that worsens the crisis, restricting freedoms and violating human rights.