More than 140 detainees freed in Bahrain accuse security forces of abuse and torture
Authorities in Bahrain released more than 140 detainees, including two former ranking opposition members of the Parliament and a prominent opposition lawyer, on Monday.
Majority of the detainees who have been released included suspects who have remained imprisoned without being given a fair trial. The length of time that they served in prison, according to authorities, was the same length of time that they would have spent should they have been given one and have been found guilty.
Upon their release, nearly all of the former detainees began to cry out allegations of torture and abuse they had experienced in the hands of officials that guarded them since they were detained during protests held in the country back on February 14. Nabeel Rajab—president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights—told reporters that he believed about 98 percent of the people that were held in custody suffered physical abuse ranging from beatings to electrical shocks as well as instances of sexual assault.
“No one was immune,” he told reporters. “Very rarely will you find someone who was not abused.”
Former Al Wefaq MPs Matar Matar and Jawad Fairuz were among the many detainees that claimed they have been tortured while being held under the custody of Bahraini security forces. In an interview with reporters following his release, Matar said that he, Fairuz and a few other detainees were brought to an open area and told to raise their hands before five men began to beat them with sticks in an ordeal that lasted for about 30 minutes. He also claimed that he was also physically abused in another occasion, and was often denied sleep as he was often interrogated for long hours at a time.
“The security forces didn’t want information,” he said. “They wanted to send a message that [they] have a green light to do whatever they want [to us].”
The Bahrain government has not responded to the said allegations.
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