Bahrain: A program on Bahrain TV presents confessions of prisoners and targets opposition political leaders and human rights activists.

Every Monday at 9:30 pm, Bahrain TV (the governmental channel) presents a program entitled “Dialogue with Saeed Al-Hamad”. The program focuses on presenting confessions of prisoners sentenced by the Military Court, or individuals that have spoken to the media during the protests in Bahrain since the 14th of February. The program also targets prominent human rights activists due to their work in exposing the human rights violations and political opposition figures.

Mr.Saeed Al-Hamad is a (pro-government) journalist in the Al-Ayam newspaper; his articles target political opposition figures and human rights activists.

On the 13th of June 2011, the presenter of the program (Mr.Al-Hamad) accused prominent human rights activists of incitement, sabotage, and being unprofessional and sectarian, when he pointed accusations towards Mr.Nabeel Rajab “Head of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights” and Mr.Mohammed Al-Maskati “Head of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights”; Al-Hamad incited the authorities and public against them.

Mr.Al-Maskati (Left) and Mr.Rajab (Right)

On the 20th of June 2011, the presenter of the program (Mr.Al-Hamad) presented confessions of prisoners sentenced by the Military Court, where the prisoners apologized and confessed that they have done actions against the government and law, which included the following:

1.Ms.Ayat Al-Qormozi while apologizing regarding the poem she has written and recited at the Pearl Roundabout during the protests (She was sentenced to one years imprisonment). Ref: http://byshr.org/?p=594

2.Mr.Mahmood Abdelsaheb, a photographer and a member of a political opposition party, where he confessed that he has fabricated photographs and sent them to TV channels.

Abdelsaheb’s lawyer stated to the BYSHR that, “Mahmood had denied all accusations during the trail”.

Information received by the BYSHR indicated that Mr.Mahmood’s confessions were filmed three days prior to their appearance in the program (after being sentenced for 3 years and 6 month imprisonment).

The BYSHR believes that Mr.Mahmood and Ms.Ayaat were subjected to ill-treatment in order to publish the confessions.

On related matter, A man died in custody confession on television that he had killed two policemen.

On the 28th of April 2011 , Bahrain T.V showed the “confessions” of the accused who killed two police men and who were sentenced. One of the those, the first to be shown making a confession, is Mr. Ali Isa Saqer, who had died in custody on the 9th of April, 2011.. The Ministry of Interior had alleged that Mr. Saqer had died after resisting security officials while in detention but the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights(BYSHR) had viewed photos that show clear marks on his back, stomach and other parts of his body that seem to be signs of mistreatment.Ref: http://byshr.org/?p=396

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) demands the immediate and independent investigation in the torture allegations, and demands from the Special Rapporteur on torture and the working group on arbitrary detention to urgently intervene.

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