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Bahrain: Crackdown on citizens reach new highs, scores detained, injured


“We will remove you, Hamad” was the slogan of the countrywide demonstrations throughout the country in the past two days, in reference to the Bahrain’s dictator. From five points, the demonstrators braved the attacks by the regime’s forces aiming to stop their peaceful marches. They called for the release of the political prisoners and called for the removal of the hereditary dictatorship from power. They also called for swift international actions against the regime’s torturers and those who have destroyed places of worship and targeted the women and children.

These demonstrations have proven beyond any doubt that the popular Revolution has defied all means of repression and continued unabated. In response the dictators have intensified their pressure on the jailed political leadership through various means. No family visits have been allowed in the past three months. The prisoners have experienced harsher treatment and lack of medical care. Serious illnesses have not been investigated and the detainees have been targeted with abuse and beating. Meanwhile Amnesty International has protested the arrest and detention of children by the Alkhalifa authorities. On and around 1 June, the International Day for the Protection of Children, Amnesty International called on the Bahraini authorities to quash the convictions of children who have been tried as adults and order retrials in courts that adhere to the principle that all children must be tried according to the rules of juvenile justice. They also must transfer all prisoners unde r the age of 18 to juvenile detention facilities and ensure that they are protected from torture or other ill-treatment. Children as young as 15 are tried as adults, in violation of Bahrain’s obligations to treat all child suspects in accordance with the rules and principles of juvenile justice. Once behind bars, 15-17 year-olds in Bahrain are detained alongside adults which puts them at greater risk of abuse and their needs as children are disregarded. “Children’s rights cannot be discarded when it’s convenient for the authorities,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

Although women have been subjected to horrific abuse, their treatment has recently worsened. The family of the detained activist, Nafisa Al Asfoor, who was arrested at the Formula 1 circuit in April is reported to be in bad health. She suffers from various ailments and has collapsed four times since her arrest. In one of those lapses the treatment was delayed 45 minutes and her condition became worse. There are fears that she may lose her life or become permanently crippled if this treatment is continued. Another woman, Nadia Ali Yousuf, from Bani Jamra who is eight months pregnant, was beaten mercilessly after her arrest recently. Her husband was also arrested and there are news that she has been transferred to hospital. She was seen with torture marks visible on her face.

The torture regime has now been extended outside the torture chambers. When the detainees are being transferred to the courts they are forced to remain standing in the buses throughout the journey, beaten up and humiliated. The country is now passing through the darkest periods of its history. The dictator is becoming more vicious by the day, as he is assured of Western support and protection. In the past week more than thirty Bahrainis have been detained including two women and a child. The number of houses raided reached 23 in various parts of the country. At least seven citizens were injured and scores tortured. 26 residential areas were attacked using fire arms, chemical gases and shotguns. The areas include Bani Jamra, Barbar, Malikiya, Sitra, Sar, Karrana, Bilad Al Qadeen, Hamad town, Jidhafs and Manama. At least one person was targeted and hit by police cars in Duraz. Properties of citizens were destroyed in several places including Barbar and Duraz.

Bahrain Freedom Movment
7th June 2013

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