Royal Decree No. 14 of 2002 established the National Security Apparatus, which was an amendment of the Amiri Decree No. 29 of 1996 regarding the management of the Ministry of Interior. According to the new decree, the National Security Apparatus replaces the General Directorate for State Security that was affiliated with the Ministry of Interior. This Apparatus is headed by a manager whose degree equals that of a minister at the cabinet.
Since 2002, the notorious National Security Apparatus initiated a surveillance and wiretapping campaign on dozens of activists. It began to launch mass arrests, the most violent in 2007; the case was known as ‘burning a police car and stealing a weapon’ when many activists were arrested after Ali Jassim’s funeral. Jassim reportedly died as a result of the Security Forces use of excessive force against protestors on 17 December, which various political and human rights bodies consider ‘Martyr’s Day’. The National Security Apparatus was known for practicing numerous types of torture:
1. Severe beatings.
3. Hanging for long periods of time in painful positions.
4. Beating the detainees’ feet with rubber hoses and/or batons.
5. Threatening the detainees with murder or rape.
In March 2008, the authorities arrested approximately 30 people from the village of Karzakan with the charge of burning property that belongs to the ruling Al-Khalifa family and killing a Pakistani officer in the village. Officers affiliated with the National Security Apparatus reportedly practiced serious violations, among them included violently raiding houses at dawn and torturing countless detainees.
In December 2008, the authorities arrested approximately 25 people and the Public Prosecution charged them with accusations related to training in Syria, preparing explosives, and attempting to carry out a terrorist act. The National Security Apparatus interrogated them using methods of intimidation and torture.
The National Security Apparatus manages people detained in the building of the Ministry of Interior – called the Fort – and in the Criminal Investigation Department building.
The names of several officials from the National Security Apparatus who practiced torture became public: Colonel Yousif Al-Arabi, Major Fahad Al-Fadhala, Major Bassam Al-Miraj, Lieutenant Isa Al-Majali and First Lieutenant Bader Al-Ghaith. ( HRW Report: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/02/08/torture-redux-0 )
In 2011, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa declared a state of emergency after violently cracking down on the pro-democracy protests in the Pearl Roundabout. The National Security Apparatus had obtained extensive powers, where it practiced the following:
1. Raiding thousands of houses, destroying their contents and targeting the residents.
2. Arresting thousands of citizens on political charges.
3. Abusing and torturing thousands of detainees.
4. Interrogating thousands of political detainees.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report indicated that the National Security Apparatus is responsible for ‘interrogating and collecting intelligence information’ as well as ‘arresting people’ which confirms its involvement in the human rights violations that took place during the state of emergency (15 March – 1 June 2011). (BICI Report: http://www.bici.org.bh/BICIreportEN.pdf)
The BICI report went on to recommend that the National Security Apparatus should be limited to only collecting intelligence information and should not carry out any arrests of suspects.
Since the recommendations of the BICI report, many detainees and their families confirmed that masked men in civilian clothing from the National Security Apparatus raided their homes. Additionally, riot police cars and black cars with tinted windows (known to belong to the NSA) surrounded their homes.
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) have documented that those arrested by the National Security Apparatus disappear for up to several days before contacting their families by phone.
Full Report (Here)