ADHRB at HRC: Extensive Use of Torture Documented in Bahrain

On March 11, 2016, at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council, Mohammed al-Tajer delivered an Item 3 General Debate oral intervention on behalf of ADHRB, BIRD, and BCHR in which he raised the issue of torture in Bahrain.

Please continue reading for his full remarks, or click here to read a PDF of his intervention.

Mr. President,

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, in coordination with the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, would like to thank the Special Rapporteur on Torture for his comments on Bahrain and take this occasion to further comment on torture in the country.

In 2013, ADHRB began extensively documenting allegations made by families of human rights abuses in Bahrain. Since then, we have documented nearly 500 discreet cases of human rights abuses in the country. In quantifying that data, we found that 370 victims alleged that they had been tortured by agents of the Government of Bahrain. 275 persons physically beaten. 154 had been beaten with weapons. Government agents allegedly deprived 97 persons of sleep for several days at a time; deprived 88 persons of their religious right to pray; and subjected 74 victims to sectarian insults. Agents of the Bahraini government allegedly subjected 66 victims to electric shock and 65 victims to genital abuse, beatings, or mutilation. 61 victims reported government forces stripping them naked; 8 reported that they had been sodomized. In my experience as a human rights lawyer, the majority of political prisoners are convicted based on confession extracted under torture.

On the occasion of the 31st Session of the Human Rights Council, we call the Council and the international community’s attention to the use of torture in Bahrain. We call on the Government of Bahrain to initiate immediate investigations and prosecutions of suspected torturers, and ask that the Government release all persons convicted on the basis of coerced confessions.

Thank you.