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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                      

Kingdom of Bahrain

Torture is criminalized, but detainees frequently report mistreatment by security forces and prison officials, who are rarely held accountable for abuse. The Interior Ministry ombudsman’s office has failed to provide a meaningful check on such impunity.

Political prisoners went on hunger strike in August 2019 to protest poor treatment in custody, including the alleged denial of medical care and religious discrimination against Shiite prisoners, who said they were punished and mocked for trying to practice their faith.

[Freedom House Country Report, 2020]

Description: Description: Description: Bahrain




CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Bahrain. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false. No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you. You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom. Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water. On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty. There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities. Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions. Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Rights group: Bahraini authorities abuse, torture detainees

Bassem Mroue, Associated Press, AP, 25 April 2019

[accessed 12 May 2019]

A Bahraini rights group said Thursday that sexual abuse and torture have been widespread and systematic in jails in the Gulf island nation during a yearslong crackdown.

The SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights group released a 30-page report documenting abuses it says "use the most intimate and personal parts of a person in order to inflict suffering."

Sima Watling, Amnesty International Gulf researcher, said sexual torture usually takes place during interrogation in Bahrain and many former detainees refuse to speak about it to avoid being "stigmatized by one's own family and community."

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Bahrain

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 5 July 2021]


Domestic and international human rights organizations, as well as detainees and former detainees, maintained that torture, abuse, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by government security officials continued during the year.

Human rights groups reported accounts alleging security officials beat detainees, placed detainees in stress positions, humiliated detainees in front of other prisoners, deprived detainees of time for prayers, and insulted detainees based on their religious beliefs.

Detainees reported that security forces committed abuses during searches, arrests at private residences, and during transportation. Detainees reported intimidation, such as threats of violence, took place at the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) headquarters facility. Some detainees at the CID reported security officials used physical and psychological mistreatment to extract confessions and statements under duress or to inflict retribution and punishment.

Human rights groups reported authorities subjected children, sometimes younger than age 15, to various forms of mistreatment, including beating, slapping, kicking, and verbal abuse.


Human rights activists reported conditions in prisons and detention centers were harsh and sometimes life threatening, due to overcrowding, physical abuse, and inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 14 May 2020]


Torture is criminalized, but detainees frequently report mistreatment by security forces and prison officials, who are rarely held accountable for abuse. The Interior Ministry ombudsman’s office has failed to provide a meaningful check on such impunity. Political prisoners went on hunger strike in August 2019 to protest poor treatment in custody, including the alleged denial of medical care and religious discrimination against Shiite prisoners, who said they were punished and mocked for trying to practice their faith.

UN rights experts condemn military court convictions, cite torture allegations

UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, Geneva, 30 April 2018

[accessed 1 May 2018]

Prior to their conviction, it is understood that the men were forcibly disappeared for several months, held in solitary confinement in small cells for a prolonged period and subjected to torture and ill-treatment to obtain confessions which were then used against them in court. They did not have access to legal representation until late in the trial proceedings and the court reportedly refused to investigate the defendants' allegations of torture in custody.

Bahrain Military Court Today Sentences Six to Death

Brian Dooley, Contributor, Senior Advisor, Human Rights First, 12/25/2017

[accessed 25 December 2017]

One of those convicted, telecom engineer Sayed Alawi, had been forcibly disappeared from his office at state telecommunications company Batelco in October 2016 and held incommunicado for five weeks without access to a lawyer or his family.

Torture is routine is such cases in Bahrain as the kingdom's human rights record slides further into crisis. 2017 has been a disastrous year for Bahrain rights, with the political opposition shut down, the country's only independent newspaper forced to close, and regular reports of torture and sexual abuse in custody.

Bahraini dissident dies 'after torture' in regime custody

PressTV, 31 July 2016

[accessed 2 August 2016]

Hayki's family attributed his death to the severe torture he was subjected to during criminal investigations over the past 20 days, which had left him unable to speak and move, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.

They said Bahraini regime forces had strung their son up by his hands for five days, and beaten him on the head and genitals during detention.

The late political dissident had been taken to the Public Prosecutor's Office several times to sign confessions. He was not able to speak due to fatigue the first time, and refused to sign what was offered to him the next time.

Hayki's family said their son was not suffering from any disease or health problems before his arrest.

Bahrain court jails six police for torture

Agence France-Presse AFP, Dubai, 31 May 2015

[accessed 18 June 2015]

The officers beat up three prisoners in an attempt to force them to admit to smuggling drugs and mobile telephones into jail, the source said.

"They beat them excessively and kicked them in their heads and other parts of their bodies," the source said, adding that the torture caused the death of one of the inmates.

The defendants also summoned the brother of one of the inmates and tortured him to obtain a confession, the source added.

Dissidents in Jaw Prison 'subjected to mass torture' in nightmarish building No. 10

Gianluca Mezzofiore, Senior Foreign News Reporter, International Business Times, 17 April 2015

[accessed 5 May 2015]

Hundreds of prisoners were subjected to tear gas, shot from close range, beaten and rounded up and taken outdoors, where they were stripped naked and left for three days. Then, they were crammed inside a tent for 30 days with no access to toilets or showers. Inmates were called one by one and taken to infamous building number 10, where further torture took place.

Whatever Happened to Bahrain's Torture Reforms?

Emanuel Stoakes, 30 March 2015

[accessed 9 April 2015]

Despite promises of change, abuses by police and security services remain commonplace in the kingdom.

Normally a calm and robust man, the 27-year-old cried as he recalled the abuses he suffered at the hands of Bahraini authorities. The men brought him to the Criminal Investigations Directorate building in the capital, Manama - and then started beating him. "They stripped him absolutely naked and they started filming, taking photos," Darwish said. Jawad told his wife that during daily interrogations, which lasted up to 12 hours, he endured near-constant violence, occasionally punctuated by sexual humiliation and threats to "to rape him using a pipe inserted into his anus," she said.

Thereafter, he was kept in a freezing cell where guards would routinely beat him and from which he could hear the screams of other detainees, tortured with electric shocks. His interrogators told him that if he did not confess to a series of offences against the state, he would suffer the same treatment. Subsequently he did just that. He is now being held in Dry Dock detention center in Manama, awaiting trial.

Reports of Torture Haunt Bahrain's CID

Brian Dooley, The Huffington Post, 23 February 2015

[accessed 30 March 2015]

Asma says the public prosecutor actually ordered her husband's release after 48 hours in the CID but he stayed there, incommunicado. She says neither she nor his lawyer were allowed to see him. I called the CID offices repeatedly last week and on Saturday someone finally answered, confirmed that Jawad was there but would give no more details.

Later that day, Asma says he appeared before the public prosecution "in very bad physical condition." She says he was forced to confess to crimes he didn't commit, and was physically and sexually abused. She says he confirmed to her that he had been "stripped fully naked while blindfolded and handcuffed from behind, and by a woman he was not able to see. She handled and abusively interfered with his genitals in a humiliating and demeaning way,' that he was "forced to listen to other detainees being tortured by electric shock," he was blindfolded and handcuffed throughout the period of detention, and he was subjected to death threats.

Bahraini activist 'Mohsen Al-Majid' reports torture in detention

Bahrain News, 10 January 2015 -- Source : BCHR, News Code : 663757

[accessed 24 March 2015]

[accessed 18 July 2017]

Al-Majid also stated that he was interrogated in order to extract a confession to his participation in the killing of a Jordanian police officer in the area of Dimistan village on 11 December 2014. He was threatened with further torture if he refused to confess to the crime. When Al-Majid denied the charges against him, the interrogators took turns beating him until his left ear drum was punctured, and his testicles became swollen from repeated being kicked. After a reported three days of this treatment, and Al-Majid continued insistence on denying the charges against him, the interrogators stripped him of his clothing and sexually harassed him. The officers reportedly threatened to shoot him in the buttocks with a gun. Al-Majid feared for his life, and made a confession to what the officers asked of him. However, despite his confession, the officers continued to beat him. He was transferred to another building where a Jordanian officer and others beat him with a plastic hose and metal parts.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 Or

[accessed 18 March 2015]


Bahrain's courts convicted and imprisoned peaceful dissenters and failed to hold officials accountable for torture and other serious rights violations. The high rate of successful prosecutions on vague terrorism charges, imposition of long prison sentences, and failure to address the security forces' use of lethal and apparently disproportionate force all reflected the weakness of the justice system and its lack of independence.

Human rights activists and members of the political opposition continued to face arrest and prosecution, and the government invested itself with further powers to arbitrarily strip critics of their citizenship and the rights that attach to it.

Prison in Bahrain: A Tale of Torture

Mohamed Hassan, Global Voices, 11 November 2014

[accessed 25 December 2014]

He was shouting as he was being beaten. Prisoners could hear his screams. The autopsy showed a disfigured face, a fractured skull, broken ribs, and an exploded kidney. Meet Hasan Alshaikh, 36 years old, who died as a result of torture in a prison in Bahrain. He had served more than half his sentence.

Remaining handcuffed with your hands behind your back for a long period drains your strength. After a while your circulation stops and your limbs become numb. We were allowed to go to the bathroom once every shift, so we would take the opportunity even if we weren't in need of the toilet, as it was the only chance to have our handcuffs removed.

During my torture sessions I was told what I should say to the public prosecutor. They told me the questions I would be asked and the answers I should give. The fact that I was asked exactly the same questions by the public prosecutor as my torturers said, convinced me that the level of co-ordination we used to suspect did in fact exist in Bahrain.

I was warned that if I complained to the public prosecutor about being tortured I would be tortured even more. Had my lawyer not tweeted about it, I would have expected that to happen. Many other inmates had experienced this, as they were questioned by the public prosecutor without a lawyer present.

Bahrain prince does not enjoy immunity over torture claims, UK court rules

Ahmed Aboulenein, Reuters, London, 7 Oct 2014

[accessed 19 November 2014]

A British court ruled on Tuesday that Bahraini Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who has been accused of torturing detainees in Bahrain, does not enjoy immunity from prosecution in Britain.

A Bahraini citizen, known only as FF, had sought the arrest of the son of Bahrain's king following allegations that he was directly involved in the torture of three prisoners in Bahrain during a pro-democracy uprising there in 2011.

Bahrain: 600 Detainees On Hunger Strike To Stop Torture In Prison

Source : BCHR, News Code : 634437, 30 August 2014

[accessed 16 September 2014]

[accessed 18 July 2017]

In a statement released by them, the prisoners stated that detainees are suffering different types of ill-treatment including beatings, insults, deprivation from using the toilets, being locked in their cells at all times, insulting their sect, torture, solitary confinement, and being forced to stand for long hours. They have also named the officers who are responsible for this ill-treatment and referenced an incident that took place on 9 August where eight detainees were reportedly beaten with batons under the supervision of Lieutenant Fahad AlKoohaji.

Bahrain slashes U.S. human rights report

Azeri-Press Agency APA, Baku, 11 May 2014

[accessed 13 May 2014]

Bahrain on Saturday strongly condemned and questioned the findings of the U.S. State Department 's 2013 Country Report on Human Rights in the kingdom, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

On Bahrain's efforts to ensure human rights, it said nearly 4, 000 ministry personnel have received relevant training up to this year. The ministry is also dealing with "daily rumors on social media" of arbitrary arrests and torture allegations.

"There is a zero-tolerance policy within the government of Bahrain for torture of any kind." The majority of prisoners at the country's largest prison, the Jaw Prison, were convicted of crimes such as murder, illegal drug trafficking and theft, the ministry said, denying the U.S. report that said political activists formed the majority of those inmates.

Ahmed AlArab: Severely Tortured for Confessions, Denied Medical Attention

Ahlul Bayt News Agency, 23 February 2014

[accessed 14 September 2014]

Throughout the period of his enforced disappearance, AlArab was not allowed to contact his family except for sporadic calls that lasted no longer than a few seconds, during which he was not allowed to give any info on his whereabouts. When his family inquired about him at Budaiya police station, the Public Prosecution, and at the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), they all denied his detention and any knowledge of his whereabouts.

"They stripped me naked, then handcuffed me from the back. They then hung me from my wrists, while they would move me from my feet to cause more pain… They covered my face with a cloth, then poured water on me. I thought I would drown to death every time."

Amnesty International Slams Bahrain for Kids' Torture

Fars News Agency FNA, Tehran, 15 December 2013

[accessed 15 Dec 2013]

The Al Kahlifa regime is under fire for its brutal crackdown on rights activists and pro-democracy protesters.

In October, Philip Luther, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, "The (Bahraini) authorities simply slap the label 'terrorist' on defendants and then subject them to all manner of violations to end up with a 'confession'."

Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, calling for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since the popular uprising started in the kingdom.

Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Protesters say they will continue to hold anti-regime demonstrations until their demands for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations are met.

Bahrain: 50 Shi'a activists sentenced amid torture allegations

Amnesty International, News, 30 Sept 2013

[accessed 30 Sept 2013]

[accessed 18 July 2017]

[accessed 28 December 2017]

Torture allegations - Naji Fateel, a board member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, was arrested on 2 May 2013 from his house in Bani-Jamra. He was held incommunicado for two days. He alleges the authorities used electric shocks on sensitive parts of his body, kicked and punched him, and threatened him with rape. During the first session of the trial on 11 July Naji Fateel took off his shirt in court to reveal evidence of torture on his back. He was convicted of setting up an illegal "terrorist" group which aims to suspend the constitution and harm national unity, among other things, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Rihana al-Mussawi, another defendant, told the court that she had been forced to strip by security officers who threatened her with rape to make her "confess" to terrorism-related crimes. She received a five-year prison sentence.

Mohammad 'Abdallah al-Singace was also allegedly tortured in detention and, as a result, he could hardly walk when he appeared before the court. His brother Dr 'Abdeljalil al-Singace is a prisoner of conscience who is currently serving a life sentence in a Bahraini prison. Mohammad 'Abdallah al-Singace was convicted of membership of an illegal "terrorist" group, among other charges, and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.

Legal rights denied - Defendants were arrested without warrants. Some were violently removed from their homes after security forces reportedly smashed down their front doors. Lawyers complained to the court that they were not allowed to visit their clients. The court refused to allow defence lawyers to bring in witnesses, and even some prosecution witnesses were reportedly not heard. Some defendants, who were already serving prison sentences or were being held pending investigation in other cases, were brought before the court unaware that they faced new charges. They did not have lawyers present at this trial.

Bahrain acquits police officers on torture charges

Agence France-Presse AFP, Dubai, 01 July 2013

[accessed 2 July 2013]

A Bahraini court acquitted yesterday two police officers, including a woman, on trial for torturing six Shia doctors during the 2011 uprising against the Sunni regime, a judicial source said. The two officers had been accused in March 2011 of having "used force, torture, and threats" against the doctors who had been arrested over their roles during the uprising, the source added.

Authorities say they are implementing the recommendations of an independent commission of inquiry called for by the king that confirmed allegations of excessive use of force by security forces during the uprising.

Bahrain blocks visit of UN torture rapporteur

Bill Law, BBC News, 24 April 2013

[accessed 24 April 2013]

The Bahraini government has postponed indefinitely a visit by Juan Mendez the UN special rapporteur on torture.

According to the country's official news agency the trip has been called off "until further notice".

This comes just days after the release of a US State Department report on human rights in Bahrain which spoke of "significant" violations including torture in detention.

'I was sexually assaulted and tortured to extract false confession' - Bahraini medic

Russia Today - RT News Network, 30 March 2013

[accessed 30 March 2013]

Fatima Haji, one of a group of Bahraini doctors who faced five years in jail but was acquitted in June 2012, told RT about the physical and psychological torture she experienced while in police custody.

She explained that she was arrested from her own apartment along with 19 other doctors who disappeared from their homes, hospitals and operating theatres.

None of them were allowed contact with lawyers or their family during interrogation and they were forced to sign false confessions, blindly without being able to read what they were signing.

"These confessions were extracted under severe torture and I mean physical and psychological torture, we'd been denied sleep for days and had been standing for days. We were not given food or fluids and were hardly allowed to go the toilet," Haji said.

She added that they were beaten with wooden sticks and hollow pipes, were electrocuted, sexually harassed and threatened with death and rape in order to get them to sign a confession.

New Bahrain Torture Claims Prompt Call for Probe

Wall Street Journal, 19 March 2013

[access restricted]

Five detainees arrested in Bahrain last year said they were tortured in custody, according to family members, lawyers and an ex-prisoner, accusations that a member of an official inquiry panel said should be formally investigated.

Bahraini princess facing multiple torture charges

BBC News, 23 January 2013

[accessed 24 January 2013]

A Bahraini princess is facing charges of torturing pro-democracy activists in the Gulf island kingdom.

Medical staff from the facility went to help injured protesters after security police used force to disperse thousands of people who had camped out at an iconic landmark, Pearl Roundabout, in the capital, Manama. At least two people were killed and hundreds wounded when police attacked with batons, tear gas and birdshot. In March and April 2011 many of the medical staff were arrested and detained. It is alleged that Ms al-Khalifa tortured the doctors at that time.

She is also accused of torturing another person, 21-year-old Ayat al-Qurmazi.

She alleges she was held for nine days, blindfolded, beaten with cables and threatened with rape. She identified Ms al-Khalifa as her torturer.

Torture allegations continue in Bahrain as UN Special Rapporteur cancels visit

Alex Pearlman, Global Post, January 2, 2013

[accessed 4 January 2013]

Bahrain's uprising, one of the last lingering flames of the explosion of the Arab Spring, has continued since 2011. The government has repeatedly cracked down on protesters, tortured medical personnel, and imprisoned activists for tweeting anti-regime messages since protests began over a year ago.

Amnesty International announced that over 1,000 people were arrested in connection with protests via their annual report on the state of the world's human rights, and that there were significant allegations of torture throughout the past year.

"[The BICI] confirmed that many detainees had been tortured by security officials who believed they could act with impunity; that police and other security forces had repeatedly used excessive force against protesters, resulting in unlawful killings," said Amnesty's report.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment -- Doc. CAT/CO/34/BHR (2005)

[accessed 21 February 2013]

5. The Committee expresses its concern at:

a) the persistent gap between the legislative framework and its practical implementation with regard to the obligations of the Convention;

b) the lack of a comprehensive definition of torture in the domestic law as set out in article 1 of the Convention;

c) the large number of allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees committed prior to 2001;

d) reports of incommunicado detention of detained persons following the ratification of the Convention and prior to 2001, for extended periods, particularly during pretrial investigations;

e) the inadequate access to external legal advice while in police custody, to medical assistance, as well as to family members, thereby reducing the safeguards available to detainees;

f) the apparent failure to investigate promptly, impartially and fully the numerous allegations of torture and ill-treatment and to prosecute alleged offenders and in particular the pattern of impunity for torture and other ill-treatment committed by law enforcement personnel in the past;

g) the provision of blanket amnesty to all alleged perpetrators of torture or other crimes by Decree 56 of 2002 and the lack of redress available to victims of torture;

h) the inadequate availability in practice of civil compensation and rehabilitation for victims of torture prior to 2001;

i) certain provisions of the draft law on counterterrorism which, if adopted, would reduce safeguards against torture and could re-establish conditions that characterize the past abuses under the State Security Law. These provisions include, inter alia, the broad and vague definition of terrorism and terrorist organizations and the transfer from the judiciary to the public prosecutor of authority to arrest and detain, in particular, to extend pre-trial detention;

j) lack of access by independent monitors to visit and inspect all places of detention without prior notice, notwithstanding the assurances of the State party that it will allow some access by civil society organizations;

k) the absence of data on complaints of torture and ill treatment, the results of investigations, or prosecutions related to the provisions of the Convention;

l) information received regarding limits on human rights non-governmental organizations to conduct their work, in particular, regarding activities relevant to the Convention within the country and abroad;

m) the different regimes applicable, in law and in practice, to nationals and foreigners in relation to their legal rights to be free from conduct in violation of the Convention. The Committee recalls that the Convention and its protections are applicable to all acts in violation of the Convention which occur within its jurisdiction, from which it follows that all persons are entitled, in equal measure and without discrimination, to the rights contained therein;

n) the rejection by the House of Deputies in March 2005 of the establishment of an independent National Human Rights Commission;

o) the overbroad discretionary powers of the Shariah Court Judges, in the application of personal status law and criminal law and in particular, reported failures to take into account clear traces of violence in medical certificates following violence against women;

p) reports of prisoner beatings and mistreatment during three strikes in 2003 at Jaw Prison, followed by agreement to establish an investigative commission whose findings, however, have not been made public.

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 5 January 2013]

Bahrain's human rights situation remains critical in the wake of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 2011. The king established an independent inquiry to investigate these potential abuses, but it failed to fully implement the inquiry's recommendations - namely holding senior officials accountable for crimes such as torture or for failing to free protesters who were jailed for exercising their right to free expression and peaceful assembly. Clashes between police and protesters continue, as do reports of deaths from beatings and excessive use of tear gas. The government continues to impose severe restrictions on access for international rights groups like Human Rights Watch.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015


Many of the people detained in March and April were taken to police stations and to the Criminal Investigations Department in Manama, where they were held incommunicado and interrogated by members of the National Security Agency and other security forces. Many alleged that they were beaten, made to stand for long periods, given electric shocks, deprived of sleep and threatened with rape. Many said they were held incommunicado for weeks after their interrogation ended.

The authorities failed to conduct independent investigations into most of these allegations. The NSC also failed to adequately investigate defendants' allegations of torture in pre-trial detention and accepted contested "confessions" as evidence of guilt. However, in November, shortly before the BICI presented its report and in anticipation of its findings, the government said it would amend the Penal Code to criminalize torture and that 20 members of the security forces were on trial in connection with allegations of torture of detainees, deaths in custody as a result of mistreatment, and unlawful killings of civilians. Full details of these prosecutions had not been disclosed by the end of the year.

Aayat Alqormozi, a student who had read out poems during the February protests, was arrested when she presented herself to the authorities on 30 March after masked members of the security forces twice raided her parents' house and threatened to kill her brothers if she did not surrender. She was held incommunicado for the first 15 days, during which she said that she was punched and kicked, given electric shocks to the face, forced to stand for hours, verbally abused and threatened with rape. On 12 June, the NSC sentenced her to one year in prison after convicting her of participating in illegal protests, disrupting public security and inciting hatred towards the regime. She was conditionally released on 13 July after she pledged not to participate in protests or criticize the government. Her case was referred to the High Criminal Court of Appeal, which ruled on 21 November that the case was suspended but without clarifying her legal status. She was at liberty at the end of the year, but was prevented from resuming her studies at Bahrain University.


Five people detained in connection with the protests died in custody as a result of torture. Those responsible for their torture were said to be among the 20 security officers facing prosecution at the end of the year.

Hassan Jassem Mohammad Mekki was arrested at his home in the early hours of 28 March. Six days later, his relatives were called to a morgue to identify his body, which they said bore marks and bruises on the head, neck and legs that appeared to have been caused by beatings. The cause of death was officially attributed to heart failure, but no autopsy was known to have been conducted. The BICI concluded that his death was caused by mistreatment in custody.

'Ali 'Issa Ibrahim al-Saqer died in custody on 9 April, a few days after police called him in for questioning about the killing of a police officer during the March protests. The Interior Ministry said he died while being restrained by police. No autopsy was known to have been conducted. His body was said to have borne marks suggesting that he had been tortured. The BICI concluded that his death was due to mistreatment in custody.


For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

[accessed 25 December 2018]


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 5 January 2013]

[accessed 3 July 2019]


The constitution prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

At the end of November, Musa Abd Ali, a 24-year-old Shi'a activist with the "Committee of the Unemployed" filed a complaint with police alleging that in the early hours of November 28 plainclothes security personnel abducted him from his home, beat him severely, assaulted him sexually, and threatened him with further harm unless he ceased his activities on behalf of the Committee of the Unemployed (see section 2.a.). A private doctor could not confirm evidence of a beating during the timeframe alleged by Abd Ali, nor evidence of sexual assault. Following the doctor's conclusions, Abd Ali changed his allegation to attempted sexual assault. Ministry of Interior officials stated publicly and privately that the government had no knowledge of nor involvement in the incident and, after completing an investigation, referred the case to the Attorney General's office. On December 13 Abd Ali withdrew his cooperation with the investigating authorities, after inconsistencies developed in his allegations.

There were no known instances of officials being punished for human rights abuses committed either during the year or in any previous year. Controversy continued over impunity for alleged torturers which the government maintained was granted by the 2001 general amnesty. In May, the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) and the dissolved Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) in cooperation with the National Committee for Martyrs and Victims of Torture (NCMVT) briefed the UN Committee Against Torture on their concerns. They focused on impunity for acts of torture committed prior to 2001; rejection by courts of all cases lodged against alleged torturers and of all requests for compensation; and the absence of redress and rehabilitation mechanisms for victims of torture.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 5   Civil Liberties: 5   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 5 January 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 11 May 2020]

In 2008, Bahraini security forces continued their brutal 2007 crackdown on the government's most outspoken critics. Dozens of Shiite activists jailed at the end of 2007 for holding public demonstrations alleged the systematic use of torture during their detainment, including electrocution and sexual assault. After lengthy delays in their trials, 11 of the activists were sentenced in July to prison terms ranging from one to seven years. State authorities continued to detain Shiite activists during the year, arresting over 40 people in March and April for suspected acts of arson against the property of a member of the royal family. Twenty-eight of those detained remained imprisoned at the end of 2008 and were subject to harsh treatment.

The judiciary is not independent of the executive branch. The king appoints all judges, and courts have been subject to government pressure. Members of the royal family hold all security-related offices. Bahrain's antiterrorism law prescribes the death penalty for members of terrorist groups and prison terms for those who use religion to spread extremism. This legislation has been criticized on the grounds that its definition of terrorist crimes is too broad and that it has led to the use of torture and arbitrary detention. In a disturbing trend, activists arrested in December 2007 claimed that they were subject to regular torture while imprisoned in 2008. Victims alleged that they faced sexual assault, electrocution, and regular beatings. Although the government denies the claims, a court-appointed medical examiner confirmed evidence of physical abuse in April.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- - Bahrain",, [accessed <date>]