Security Forces Abduct, Severely Beat and Verbally Assault 5 Citizens, Including 3 Minors
Photo: Marks from beatings on one of the abducted victims.
Date: 31 March 2013
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its grave concern over the security forces’ continuation in the practice of abducting and beating of citizens, including minors.
The BCHR’s Head of Monitoring and Documentation Unit, Said Yousif Al-Muhafdha, documented disturbing incidents that took place in different areas within the same week which involved abducting civilians from the street or private homes, subjecting them to severe beatings and verbal assaults, including attacks on their sect and religious beliefs.
Photo: Marks of beatings on one of the minors’ back
Three minors under the age of 14 informed Al-Muhafdha that they were abducted on the 28th of March 2013 at around 11 pm. They stated that there was a protest in the village and security forces started collectively punishing the village by shooting excessive teargas. This caused them to suffocate and therefore seek shelter in one of the houses nearby. Police forces noticed them and raided the house, abducted them and they were reportedly severely beaten inside the police vehicle with batons and gun butts while being verbally assaulted by the security forces by insulting their religious sect. One of the abducted showed cigarette burn marks on his arm stating that it was done by security forces.
Photo: Cigarette burns on victims arm
They were then taken to a stable that has become known as an unofficial torture center and the beatings continued until they were finally taken to the police station. The three abducted minors said that In spite of the fact the blood was clearly visible on their cloths and signs of beatings were evident, the attending officer at the police station ignored it all and did not mention it in his report.
Photo: Marks of beatings on the arm of one of the victims
In another abducting incident, a young man was taken by security forces in the Daih area. He stated that he was beaten inside the police jeep with batons and they burnt his back with a lighter. He was reportedly forced to insult human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and political opposition leaders while being forced to say “long live (Prime Minister) Khalifa bin Salman and bin Nahayyan” (in reference to one of the seven ruling families in the United Arab Emirates).
Photo: Marks of beatings on the victim
Similar incidents happened this week in AlMuqsha village where a young man was abducted and reportedly severely beaten in the police jeep where he was forced to chant “the king is a crown on my head” and then was dumped in a farm in Karrana.
The Bahraini Authorities continue to claim to the local and international human rights organizations that their interrogation rooms are fully equipped with recording cameras to assure that no illegal activities are conducted by the police forces while interrogating. Yet, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights continues receive and document cases of alarming incidents both inside and outside the official premises including farms and stables that have turned into torture centers. In many cases citizens are being abducted, severely beaten sometimes to the extent of torture, then dropped off in different areas without being taken to police stations.
It is important to note here that the Ministry of Interior called the BCHR and asked that the victims of abductions report to the MOI for investigation. While the BCHR passes the message to the victims and their families, we understand why victims refuse to report to the MOI due to the continuous culture of impunity, which fails the victims, and at times even turns them into the culprits. The BCHR has previoulsy documented cases in which victims who came forward with complaints then themselves faced targeting, harassment and at times even trials.
Based on the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the US, UK, the United Nations and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to:
- Conducting prompt and impartial investigations in the cases of abduction and mistreatment.
- Immediately put an end to all forms of torture and verbal assaults.
- End the culture of impunity and hold accountable all those accused of conducting, overseeing or enabling torture and mistreatment; including senior government officials who, if not directly supervising the violations, are involved in the protection of the violators.