The Bahraini government has been violently targeting Shia and their peaceful demonstration that call for fair opportunities and democratic reforms since 2011.
Brutal Crackdown of Protests
The following cases are only few examples of the brutal response of Bahraini government recruiting Pakistani (Mashal, 2011) and Saudi troops (Ismi, 2011) to crackdown on Shia protests.
- Brutal crackdown on peaceful and unarmed Bahraini protestors on February 14th, 2012, shooting tear gas at people, chasing protesters through the street (Benjamin, 2012) (Benjamin Medea, an American peace activists), and suppressing peaceful gatherings.
- On December 17th, known as “Bahrain’s Martyr Day”, on which people commemorate the killing of Bahrainis in 1990s uprising and one day after Bahrain’s “National Day”, peaceful protesters were attacked by tear gas, pellet shotguns and stun grenades. As a result two protesters lost sight after being shot directly in the face by a pellet shotgun and many other wounded. (Bahrain Center For Human Rights, 2013).
- On December 4th, 2012, 19 year-old Aqeel Abdulmuhsen was almost killed after he was shot in his face from a very close range by undercover security forces, leaving him with a broken jaw. Also Agheel’s left arm was broken from the force of another direct shot. He was arrested and taken to the hospital and underwent two operations that took about 9 hours. Three of his female relatives were briefly arrested on the same night that he was injured (Lubaba Jafar, Salma Jafar and Fatima Hasan). Their phones were confiscated and they were questioned at the Budaiay police station about other young persons from the village of BaniJamra and the location where these young people may be hiding. For two hours the security officers verbally harassed and threatened these women. (Bahrain Center for Human Rights, 2013).
- According to Amnesty International, in January 3rd, 2012, Hassan ‘Oun, an 18 year old student , was arrested and violently tortured for speaking out against police brutality. He was imprisoned and forced by the police to stand for 11 hours, then he was beaten on his feet with a hose and even threatened with rape (Amnesty International, 2012).
- In 2011, Ahmed Al-Muqabi was arrested and sentenced for 3 years. He was subjected to torture and horrific sexual assaults, for providing refuge to Mohammed Al-Moqdad, a leader of the political opposition. Police forcibly inserted a hose into his anus on multiple occasions and electrocuted his gentile area. Al-Muqabi now suffers from serious health issues such as pain from anal hemorrhage, bleeding hemorrhoids and serious infections. He also suffers from high blood pressure, pain in his back, dental problems and has trouble seeing. He has been awaiting an operation to correct these issues but the government has repeatedly delayed his treatment and prevented his access to medical care as they often deny medical treatment to political prisoners (BCHR, 2012).
- Taqi Abdulla, a 24-year-old Bahraini and American citizen was arrested without a warrant on October 7th, 2012, and he was forced to confess that he burned a police vehicle, even though he was at home when it occurred according to Amnesty International (2013):
“He was reportedly blindfolded and kicked and punched on different parts of his body for several hours. He reported being made to stand on one foot for a long period of time and being threatened with rape. The interrogators also allegedly threatened to rape his mother and sister, if he did not confess to the crime.
Taqi also had a previous medical condition that required special treatment and yet the authorities refused to provide it causing his health to deteriorate. Taqi was sentenced to 10 years in prison, after an unfair trial.
- Having sit outside his house near a 20 people gathrings of men, women and children, Hussain Shamsan was attacked by the riot police that also shot at the crowd using pellet shotgun. Hussain was hit in the eye, chest, waist and leg, and when he went to hospital, he was handcuffed and without receiving any medical treatment, he was transferred to Dry Dock Detention Center, where he was tortured with electrocution and beaten with iron rod to sign a confession stating that he had attacked a police officer. (BCHR, 2012).
- Muntadher Saeed Fakhar, a 37-year-old man from Sanabis died after being tortured by police in the Hoora police station. On January 25th 2012, he was run down by a police car and beaten for taking part in a protest. Then he was taken to Hoora Police station where he was tortured, apparently for making a forced confession. Muntadhar died within 24 hours of his arrest. The Bahrain Center of Human Rights was able to confirm the marks of torture on the body of Muntadher before he was buried. It appears that a police officer had kicked or stomped on Muntadher’s head, judging by the marks of a shoe on the side of his face.
- On January Yousef Mowali, a 23-year-old man found dead in river after being tortured. He was arrested two days earlier while his family was not allowed to see him. The state doctor ruled the cause of death as drowning and resisted to allow his family to see the body. Signs of torture were revealed by the second autopsy conducted by Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, a professor in forensic medicine at the University of Istanbul with 20 years of experience in examining torture cases. Dr. Fincanci determined that there were clear signs of torture from electrocution and found wounds on the foot, arms and legs, which was not mentioned in the first autopsy. She also concluded that Yousef had been unconscious when he drowned (Cassel, 2012).
Bahraini government has violated ,many rights of the Shia Muslims majority including:
- Right to freedom of religion,
- Right to fair trial,
- Right to equal employment opportunities,
- Right to adequate healthcare,
- Citizenship rights,
- Visitation rights,
- Freedom of expression, and
- Privacy rights.
Read reports of violations in Bahrain:
Bahrain: Victim of National Interest
Shia Target of Inhumane treatment
Amnesty International. (2012). Bahrain student alleges torture in detention.
Amnesty International. (2013, September 25). Document – Bahrain: US National gets 10 years after unfair trial: Taqi ‘Abdallah al-Maydan. Retrieved from amnesty.org: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE11/044/2013/en
Bahrain Center for Human Rights. (2013). Retrieved from Bahrainrights.org: http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/5551
Bahrain Center For Human Rights. (2013). bahrainrights.org. Retrieved from http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5564
BCHR. (2012, March 30). Bahrain 21-29 March: Death, kidnapping, dismissals and more tear gas. Retrieved from bahrainrights.org: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5133
BCHR. (2012, November 19). Urgent Appeal: Authorities Deny Medical Treatment for Prisoner of Conscience Ahmed Al-Mugabi. Retrieved from bahrainrights.org: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5519
BCHR. (2012, November 17). Urgent Appeal: Concern for Well-Being and Safety of Hussain Shamsan; Arrested from Hospital and Reportedly Tortured. Retrieved from bahrainrights.org: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5516
Benjamin, M. (2012). Occupied Bahrain one year after the uprising. codepink.org.
Cassel, M. (2012). Autopsy finds torture behind Bahrain drowning.
Ismi, A. (2011). Saudi Arabia helps crush the democratic uprising in Bahrain. Global Research.
Mashal, M. (2011). Pakistani troops aid Bahrain’s crackdown.
SRW. (2012). Bahrain; Victim of National Interest. Washington DC: SRW.