Bahrain: Defendants Detained in ‘Daih Bombing’ Reveal Torture in Court
Ministry of Interior: Those implicated in the Daih bombing confessed their crime;
The Detainees: We were tortured physically and sexually to force us to confess
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern in regards to the continuing policy of systematic torture to extract confessions from defendants detained in cases of a political nature. The detainees accused in the Daih bombing spoke before court about being subjected to physical and sexual torture to force them to falsely confess to their involvement in the bombing and joining the ‘Saraya Al-Ashtar’ who had adopted the bombing incident on 3 March 2014.
Sources indicated to the BCHR that the detainees were subjected to torture anddegrading treatment, in addition to being threatened by the Public Prosecution that they will be taken back to torture if they do not confess to the charges against them. Sami Mirza Mushaima (39 years) mentioned amongst the details that he was entirely stripped of his clothes and beaten all over his body, while concentrating on his genitals. He was also reportedly electrocuted on his genitals to force him to confess to making explosive materials that targeted policemen in the area of Daih on 3 March 2014. When Sami denied the charges against him, they sodomized him by inserting strange objects in his anus. Sami said that the interrogators threatened, in case he did not confess to the charge, to bring his sisters and mother and sexually abuse them in front of him which compelled him to confess after he broke down and to rid himself of the torture. The torture was not only limited to that, he was verbally abused and forced to stand for long hours without moving, during whichhe was beaten on the mouth which caused Sami to lose five of his teeth. The interrogators also inserted a strange object in his ear which led to rupturing his eardrum; as well asremoving all of his body hair.In addition, Sami was subjected to a type of torture known as the ‘Faylaqa’, which is to insert a rod under folded knees while the hands are tied in front; then suspending the victim from the rod and whipping him on the soles of his feet with a rubber hose. After the interrogation ended, Sami was taken to solitary confinement in the Criminal Investigation Department for 25 days, where he was deprived of showers and did not receive regular meals. It was during the first court hearings that Sami spoke of the torture he was subjected to.
In the same case, Taher Al-Samea stated before the judge that he was subjected to beatingsat the Criminal Investigation Department for three continuous days by using various tools such as batons and plastic and rubber pipes. He was also threatened with electrocution and sexual assault. Taher also revealed during the hearing that he was threatened by the Public Prosecutor that he will be returned to the CID for beatings and torture if he denied the charges.Taher stated that he suffers from severe pain in his legs and hands as a result of the torture he was subjected to.
Regarding Redha Mirza Mushaima (26 years) – the brother of the detained Sami Mirza Mushaima – he told the judge that he was held at the Criminal Investigation Department for four days where he was subjected to physical and mental torture. He stated that he was stripped of his clothes, electrocuted and severely beaten, especially on the knees where he had undergone a surgery at an earlier time. Redha added to the judge that the interrogators inserted a tool in his ears which caused a hearing loss along with severe pain which he still suffers from. In addition, according to Redha’s statement, he was subjected to sodomy by inserting a bottle into his anus to compel him to falsely confess to participating in the bombing incident on 3 March 2014.
Lawyer Mohammed Al-Tajer’s office issued on 30 April 2014 a detailed report including the names of the defendants detained in the case and the torture testimonies they stated to the lawyer and judge, in addition to the charges against each one of them.The family of Abbas Al-Samea told the BCHR that their son was subjected to severe torture, however he was not brought to court as he is serving a sentence in another case in Jaw Central Prison.
The Ministry of Interior announced on 3 March 2014 the death of three policemen as a result of an explosion in the area of Daih, and they said in a statement, ‘The Riot Police dealt with a group ofvandals who had broken away from a funeral procession, where they engaged in vandalism, riot and blocking roads which required taking legal action towards them.’Within hours of the explosion, the Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police DhahiKhalfan stated in a tweet on his account on Twitter that the person who carried out the explosion in Daih is a single 40 year old man who has been frequently visiting Lebanon to train on explosions in Hezbollah, however he quickly deleted it after people questioned him online as to where his information came from and ridiculed how he could identify the perpetrator so quickly.
Two days after the incident, the Chief of Public Security Tariq Al-Hassan announced the arrest of four people who had carried out the bombing in Daih. In the afternoon of 9 March 2014, the Public Prosecution held a press conference in which it announced that the investigation carried out by the General Directorate of CriminalInvestigation and Forensic Evidence implicating those arrested in forming a terrorist groupwas proven and that their sentences could reach the death penalty and the revoking of their citizenship. The Public Prosecution added that the detainees confessed to the charges against them which required detaining them for 60 days pending investigation according to the procedures of the internationally condemned Terrorism Law. The Ministry of Interior also broadcasted a video of the explosion, although it did not include any clear indications of the implication of the detainees in the incident.
Based on the aforementioned, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, United Kingdom, United Nations, European Union and all other close allies and international institutions to pressure the authorities in Bahrain in order to:
- Immediately end the practice of systematic torture as a means to extract confessions, and to provide guarantees as for the safety and security of detainees
- Immediately and unconditionally release all detainees who have been arrested arbitrarily on politically motivated charges as a result of the current social movement for freedom and democracy
- Investigate and hold accountable all those implicated in torture, especially the higher ranking officers who ordered or supervised the practice of torture.