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BCHR publishes second part of post-BICI report

(BCHR/IFEX) - Copenhagen - The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) has published the second part of its post Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report, regarding ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain since 26 March 2012.

According to the report, there have been no meaningful improvements in the human rights situation in Bahrain. Instead, the findings of this report show that on many levels the situation has become more serious.

Mass arrests and detentions carried out in a violent manner, involving public beatings to the point of drawing blood and insulting of detainees at the time of arrest, are still ongoing. In many cases detainees continue to be deprived of access to family members and lawyers in the days following their arrest. Children under the age of 18 have not been excluded from these types of arrests. In addition, human rights defenders, activists and journalists have recently been arrested, with the latest cases recorded in May. There is a clear escalation in arrests of individuals that the government did not arrest even during the height of the crackdown in 2011. In April alone BCHR recorded 100 cases of arrest and detention.

BCHR continues to receive information regarding cases of torture while in detention (formal and informal). The latest case is that of journalist Ahmed Radhi, who was arrested on 16 May. According to a letter Radhi wrote, he was physically and psychologically tortured, verbally abused and beaten while being interrogated.

In the cases of detainees who have been released, hundreds are still facing trial before civil and military courts. Once again, these ongoing trials include children under 18 years of age, such as 11-year-old Ali Hassan, who is due to appear in court on charges of "illegal gathering" and "disturbing the peace".

In general, the second part of the post BICI report documents an increase in Bahraini government attacks on all aspects of Bahraini society - religious freedoms are under assault, government employees are being dismissed and students and medical professionals as well as civil associations are being attacked. The use of excessive force against protesters and attacks on civil liberties have worsened. Hundreds of people who have been injured have no access to medical care as the military still controls the central hospital in the country. The findings of the report, "Post-BICI Violations, Part II", show that, due to apparent inaction at the international level, there appears to be no incentive for the Bahraini government to implement the recommendations of the commission of inquiry's report.

BCHR has republished its concerns and recommendations in the second part of the post-BICI report. Among these recommendations are a call for an immediate halt to the violent repression of peaceful protests, the unconditional release of political prisoners and the cessation of torture practices and harassment of human rights activists and media workers. The Bahraini government needs to be held accountable by bringing to trial all those accused of injuring, torturing and killing civilians, as well as those who authorised these crimes.

Read the first post-BICI report

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