Review by UN Torture Committee Puts Bahrain Abuses Under Spotlight right before its UPR review
The UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) concluded its review of Bahrain on 24 April. UN panel says allegations of torture submitted by NGOs are credible and that torture remains widespread in Bahraini jails.
The government failed to adequately respond to torture allegations prompting criticisms from UN experts that Bahrain will face a hard time addressing its human rights record in its UPR review next week.
In an open letter to the Committee, a group of NGOs, together with BCHR, urged the experts to give immediate attention to the use of torture to obtain false confessions, the systematic use of torture against political detainees and activists, and the impunity which still prevail amongst members of Bahraini security forces that have been allegedly accused of torture.
“Torture remains widespread in Bahrain as highlighted by the Committee against Torture, and the UPR is a critical moment for the Kingdom to answer more questions about torture in detention facilities” said S. Yousif Almuhafdah, BCHR Vice-President, “We urge UN Member States during the UPR to press Bahrain over abuses of many detained and imprisoned human rights defenders, like Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who have been subjected to or are at risk of further torture and inhumane treatment. Our colleagues’ and all the torture victims suffering should not be forgotten”
The Geneva-based UN committee against torture interrogated Bahrain on its policies regarding torture of detainees, in particular political detainees and Human Rights Defenders.
The Committee also raised the issue of the visit of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bahrain.
BCHR is also concerned about reprisals against activists from Bahrain who have tried to participate in the next UPR review, particularly in the light of the recent travel bans and judicial harassments against its members, Nedal AlSalman, Hussein Radhi, Enas Oun and Ahmed AlSaffar who have been all travel banned.