Amanda Milani Delivers Statement on Torture in Bahrain’s Infamous Jau Prison at HRC29

On 29 June 2015, ADHRB’s UN Liaison Amanda Milani delivered an oral intervention at the 29th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva  under Item 8 on human rights in Bahrain.  Please continue reading below or click here to download a PDF.

الرجاء الضغط هنا لقراءة هذه الرسالة باللغة العربي

Mr. President,

Evoking Section II B of the Vienna Declaration which acknowledges torture as “one of the most atrocious violations against human dignity,” Alsalam Foundation together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, the Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, express our deep concern over the continued exercise of torture by certain States, like Bahrain.

In Bahrain’s central detention facility, Jau Prison, torture remains a regular practice. We are particularly disturbed by the recent forms of physical and psychological torture carried out by authorities since the outburst of a prison riot on 10th March 2015. This has included periodic beating of prisoners, religious hate speech targeting Shia inmates, forcing prisoners to perform degrading tasks like rubbing their faeces on the wall, denying prisoners access to food, sanitation and medical facilities, as well as preventing prisoners from sleeping. These practices can certainly be defined as “atrocious violations against human dignity” and thus, in direct contravention to the principles set out in the World Conference on Human Rights.

These forms of treatment, however, are regrettably not uncommon in Bahrain. In November 2014, a Jau Prison inmate was beaten to death. Prison officials had broken his skull and jaw as well as rupturing his kidney. After the beating, he was left in solitary confinement where he died overnight. There has been no accountability for his death, which was caused by severe torture.

Mr. President,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration’s affirmation that “Under human rights lawfreedom from torture is a right that should be protected under all circumstances,” we call on this Council to take urgent and effective measures to ensure Bahrain’s compliance with this instrument.  We further call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately grant unfettered access to the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Thank you.