Bahrain's legal system under scrutiny for abuses
Middle Eastern country accused of not following due process of law
Bahrain, a small Middle Eastern nation largely kept away from the tumult
and change of last year's Arab Spring, has been under scrutiny for its
judicial system. There are reports of human rights abuses, and basic
rights have been denied to many of its citizens.
Bahrain says it has made progress to curtail 'widespread' torture committed by the Bahraini security forces, partly by issuing a new code of conduct, and partly by installing new closed-circuit video cameras in police stations.
The Bahrain government says that it has fulfilled most of the report's suggestions for fixing those problems. "A lot of the major, major ones have been implemented, and you have a lot of them with the ministry of interior, the ministry of justice," Abdelaziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, an official from Bahrain's information affairs authority says.
But rights groups and lawyers frequently complain about the government's handling of cases.
One frightening example" 16-year-old Ali al-Singace was found tied up and half-naked in a garage in Sanabis, just outside the Bahraini capital. He told neighbors that he'd been beaten, stabbed and sexually assaulted by a group of men, and filed a police report later that afternoon.
Singace was back at the police station days later, but this time as a suspect, not a victim. Prosecutors accused him of filing a false police report. He was accused of inflicting knife wounds on himself, a conclusion attributed to a government doctor who conducted a medical examination.
". we tried to have him examined again, to have another doctor review his case, and they refused the request," Faten al-Haddad, Singace's lawyer says.
Bahraini rights groups say that the case raises new questions about the government's willingness to reform its legal system. Singace says he has been abducted several times before, because he refused to work as a police informant. "The police didn't explain how he managed to tie himself up," one activist said archly.
A new report from Human Rights Watch, released on Wednesday, concludes that Bahrain's government has ignored "critical recommendations" from the report, notably the ones dealing with "accountability for torture and relief for people wrongly imprisoned."
"Hundreds of people remain behind bars solely for speaking out and demanding a change of government," Joe Stock, the deputy Middle East director at HRW says. "And it seems that no high-ranking officials have been investigated for their roles in rampant torture or unlawful killings."
Bahrain says it has made progress to curtail "widespread" torture committed by the Bahraini security forces, partly by issuing a new code of conduct, and partly by installing new closed-circuit video cameras in police stations. The interior ministry last week took journalists on a guided tour of the police station in Hoora, a busy neighborhood in the capital, where officers were eager to show off interrogation rooms recently fitted with the recording equipment.
"There are cameras all over the police station," Ghazi al-Eisan says, the head of operations for the capital governorate, "so from the moment someone enters the police station, they are on camera."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Bahrain, torture, police, jails, violations, justice
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Middle East News
- Where is President Obama as Egypt's Coptic Christians Die and Churches Burn?
- Israel and Syria at brink of war as both sides exchange fire, threats
- Elements of Syrian opposition feared to be aligned with al-Qaeda
- You'll be surprised to see what Palestinians are smuggling into Gaza
- Use Twitter, go to HELL
- As death and destruction rain down in Syria, refugees flee with lives to Jordan
- Hezbollah can reach Israel with missiles, report says
- Did intervention in Iraq unjustly discriminate against the Christians there?
- With Hezbollah statement, Syrian conflict threatens to spread into multinational conflict
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?