Bahrain: human rights briefing
In a new briefing today, Amnesty International said that serious human rights violations continue to be committed in Bahrain. These include:
Following the declaration of the state of emergency, hundreds of people were arrested and in many cases detained incommunicado; some were reportedly subjected to unprovoked assaults at the time of their arrest, often at their homes in the early hours of the morning. Some detainees allege that they were tortured while held at undisclosed locations. In April, at least four detainees died in custody in suspicious circumstances.
A number of those arrested in relation to the protests have already been tried and sentenced by the National Safety Court. This is a military court established under the state of emergency that is being used to try civilians. It will continue to conduct trials after the lifting of the state of emergency on 1 June.
Four people have been sentenced to death on charges of deliberately causing the deaths of two police officers; two of these have had their sentences confirmed by the National Safety Appeals Court and now face possible execution.
More than 2,000 people have been dismissed or suspended from their employment in the public and private sector, apparently for having participated in the protests.
The government has failed to conduct independent investigations into alleged abuses by Bahraini security forces in response to peaceful and other public protests in February and March. These include the use of lethal and other excessive force against protestors and assaults on medical workers seeking to help the wounded.