Bahrain: Systematic Mistreatment and Torture by the Security Forces Continues

Photo: Ali Aref, a Riot Police member, who assaulted a citizen

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) expresses its deep concern for the incident that took place regarding the officer Ali Aref, a Riot Police member, who assaulted a citizen by beating him in the village of Aali, and this is not a precedent where Security Forces are known for their mistreatment and torture against citizens and political detainees. The report issued by the “Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry”, which was established by the King’s country Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, confirmed that the Security Forces used torture to extract confessions or as revenge.

Video: Ali Aref, a Riot Police member, who assaulted a citizen

On 23 December, the – ill-reputed – officer, Ali Aref, was roaming with the Riot Police in the village of Aali when he questioned one of the citizens – accompanied by a child – and then slapped him on his face.

The assault against citizens in Bahrain is systematic and is carried out by individuals who work in the Ministry of Interior. The BYSHR has monitored several complaints against members of Security Forces who assault citizens in many areas, and these videos detect that:

1. Assaulting a citizen in the village of Bani Jamra, 9 November 2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYVIdgv6esM&feature=youtube_gdata_player
2. Assaulting a citizen in the village of Eker, 14 October 2011
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VuHVPKtk0A&feature=youtube_gdata_player
3. Assaulting citizens in the village of Maamer, 11 November 2011
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps-xfboge6s

Within hours the Ministry of Interior announced that it will investigate the incident – the assault incident in the village of Aali – and that the security officer who attacked the citizen will be brought to military court (refer to the statement of the Ministry of Interior http://www.policemc.gov.bh/news_details.aspx?type=1&articleId=13229 )

This is not the first time that a statement is issued in cases of assaults by the security forces against citizens, where the Bahraini Al-Wasat newspaper (Issue 3718 – November 2012) published a photo of an assault against a citizen (refer to the newspaper http://www.alwasatnews.com/3718/news/read/714979/1.html )

On 20 November 2012, the Ministry of Interior released a statement that confirms bringing the security officer who assaulted the citizen on 9 November 2012 to military courts (refer to the statement of the Ministry of Interior: http://www.alwasatnews.com/3727/news/read/717224/1.html )

The BYSHR has until now not received the outcome of prosecuting those accused of human rights violations. The BYSHR believes that these investigations do not contribute in the criminal justice, due to the following:

1. the Ministry of Interior does not publish the names or military ranks of those accused of human rights violations;
2. the Ministry of Interior does not publish the results of the investigation or the court sentences;
3. the Ministry of Interior does not allow the victim or who represents him or her, the lawyers, and local and international human rights institutes to attend and observe the court hearings.

On 30 January 2012, the Ministry of Interior released “Code of Conduct for Policemen” in order for the policeman to protect the individuals from the abuse of using power and to promote human rights. (refer to the Code of Conduct: http://www.legalaffairs.gov.bh/viewhtm.aspx?ID=RINT1412)

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) demands:

1. Permit the victim or who represents him or her and the local and international human rights organizations to attend the court hearings of the policemen accused of human rights violations;
2. Publish the court sentences and results of investigations with those responsible for the human rights violations in the various means of media;
3. Hold those that are directly and indirectly responsible for the human rights violations in Bahrain, and this should include all the officials in the higher ranks in the Ministry of Interior and other ministries;
4. Implement the principle of “no impunity”.

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