HRW Exposes Ongoing Police Brutality in Bahrain
Following a five-day visit to the country, Human Rights Watch reports, “Bahrain’s police are beating and torturing detainees, including minors, despite public commitments to end torture and police impunity.” According to Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director of HRW, “Bahrain has displaced the problem of torture and police brutality from inside police stations to the point of arrest and transfer to police stations. This abuse contradicts one of the most important recommendations of the [Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry] and shows why investigations and prosecutions of abusers to the highest level are essential to stopping these practices.” Relatedly, Sayed Yasin Abduljalil, a minor at the age of 13, was arrested while taking part in a protest and, according to his lawyers, was “beaten and tortured” by police.
Meanwhile, the location and health of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has yet to be confirmed as he remains isolated from his family, lawyer, and other external parties. Danish authorities have been denied (Dutch) access despite a request from Ambassador Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, who has expressed ongoing concern for al-Khawaja’s health. His daughter, Maryam al-Khawaja, did an interview with Al Jazeera, in which she affirmed that the situation is ambiguous. When asked how she feels about whether or not her father should continue with his hunger strike, she said, “I would say to him exactly what he would say to me … do what is in the best interest of the people of Bahrain, what is in the best interest of freedom and justice, and the struggle to reach those two things.”