HR Activists’ Interrogations: Testimonies of those Tortured at Muharraq Police Station’s 3rd Floor
2017-07-02 - 3:39 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Do you want a safe haven to keep you protected from punishment whatever your crime may be? Go to Bahrain. For instance, you can torture or report the opponents of the regime, thus lead to their immediate arrest, or even commit murder. If you master doing this according to the prevailing balance of power in Bahrain where Shia citizens are demonized, you will be just fine.
"The time of Human Rights has ended," is one of the most popular phrases that the Interior Ministry's security interrogators have recently been saying repeatedly to peaceful activists in interrogation rooms, expressing their confidence that they will not be held accountable. During the period following the Bahraini King's meeting with US President Donald Trump in Riyadh in late May, several activists and human rights defenders were summoned for interrogation at police directorates. There, they were tortured and threatened, including being subjected to electric shocks.
In one case, a woman was completely stripped of her clothes and was female police officers and two men took turns beating her. She was sexually harassed and cold water was poured over her to force her to disclose information about her colleagues. In another case, they brought a picture of an activist's wife to him and threatened to rape her if he did not disclose similar information and stop exercising human rights monitoring in the organization with which he works. "No one can hear you here, so it's best for you to cooperate with us." This was said by one of the interrogators who took turns to beat him. Bahrain Mirror received the testimonies of four human rights defenders and Tweeters who were summoned recently. These testimonies unveil the events that took place and how they were tortured during their interrogations in buildings belonging to the Bahraini Ministry of the Interior. The details are as follows:
Torture Case 1
I reached the third floor of the Muharraq security complex after I received a call asking me to come. Before I went, I had consulted some legal experts that I trusted, who advised me not to tell anyone about the summons until I knew why I was summoned. Although I thought I should do the opposite, I still followed their advice and went to the security compound.
I was introduced to the interrogator who was smoking heavily. He began to tell me that he was aware of my human rights activism and then asked me specifically about the nature of my relationship with (...).
He then said, "Draw me a diagram of the structure of (...)," and then began to walk out of the room. I refused to do so and asked for a lawyer.
Here, at this moment I realized the mistake I had made by following the advice to not tell anyone about my summons.
It was not long before I very muscular man came into the room. He started the process of beating me on the face and back and kicking all over my body. Afterwards, another group of men entered the the room and each one of them began taking turn striking me with one punch after the other and slapping me.
"What do you want?," I said.
"We want to do you good. No one will hear you here; so it is best for you to cooperate with us. The era of human rights is over," they said.
They soon resumed torturing me, but this time by electrocuting me in sensitive areas. One of them was beating me with the gun on my back and the back of my neck.
One of them, who was a tall, handsome man, said to me in a calm tone: "We will not hurt you if you cooperate. Either help us with information or you'll be thrown in jail."
During the torture they brought a picture of my wife and threatened to rape her.
For a third time, they beat me and tortured me with electric shocks until I was exhausted and decided to respond. I drew them a detailed diagram about the workers in (...) and told them what I knew about (...).
I spent eight hours in the interrogation room and when I left every part of my body was exhausted and aching of pain. To this day, I still feel it.
They told me during the interrogation that they would not come back to me if I stopped monitoring human rights abuses. But I am still afraid of retaliation.
Torture Case 2
I arrived at the (...) station after I received a summons. I was not aware of what was waiting for me there or why I was summoned.
As soon as I entered, the interrogator said straightaway: "You have two options. The first is to continue your political activities as they are and provide us with information on the movements of political parties, and the second is to have a case fabricated against you and revealing your relationship with (...) to your wife.
"I do not accept being an informant or spy and I have a clear vision that I do not hide," I replied.
He said: "We have elements in all political parties, who work with us and provide us with information, so don't worry." He offered me an amount of 1500 dinars with the promise of doubling it after a while.
I reiterated my refusal so he became upset and exited the room.
Al-Falamrazi entered and started beating me on the stomach and on my sensitive parts. He blindfolded me and took me to a car and drove me to another place. I sensed it was in the middle of the Muharraq market, but I can not say for sure.
There, I was stripped of my clothes, beaten and flogged. My feet were cuffed and cold water was poured on me.
An officer from the Al-Maawda family asked me to watch (...) and (...) and to be more attend the the Alumni Club more frequently to monitor the situation.
I rejected all this, but I promised them to stop giving statements and appearing in the media, on Twitter as well as stop my political work in general.
Torture Case 3
When I arrived at the (...) station, I was agitated.
After waiting for a while, I was taken to the interrogation room. I noticed that there were cameras in the room. I thought that could protect me.
The interrogation began abruptly. It was a powerful slap on my ear.
He said to me: "We know that you take photos and your pictures reach the site (...)."
He then continued to beat and insult me. In the meantime, a tall, light-skinned, handsome and calm man whom they called "Abu Ali" entered the room.
He said: "Your situation will change for the better. We do not mind you continuing your photography work with whatever party, but we want you to provide us with all the pictures. I promise you a gift of 1000 dinars and a monthly gift of 700 dinars.
I refused so he tried to convince me again, and when I continued to refuse, a cruel, merciless person came in after him.
He started to torture me with electric shocks in my abdominal area. After a while of beating, kicking and torturing me, he brought a picture of my daughter.
"Think of your daughter for a bit," he said.
I said: "Give me two weeks to think," and then he let me out. I was very disturbed.
Torture Case 4
I arrived at the Muharraq station with lawyer (...). I was taken to a room on the third floor. There were female police interrogators and two men. They began by putting a black bag over my head.
Then, they began to interrogate me about my human rights work and instant chat groups that I have membership in like Whatsapp.
I said: "This is my phone, I'm not a member in any Whatsapp groups but that of my family."
Immediately, slaps landed on my face.
One of them took a pipe and started to hit me hard until I fell to the ground. Another woman kicked me and scoffed at me using words of a sectarian nature: Daughter of Mut'ah, Safavid, Magi.
I was not able to stand up so they poured cold water on me, and then suddenly, they stripped me of my clothes. They took off my skirt, bra and hijab.
One of them started to [sexually] harass me so I shouted: "Oh Allah...Oh Allah...O Allah."
He slapped me hard, while his colleague dragged me.
I agreed to their demand. I told them the general information I know about the activists.
I spent six hours there. They asked me to cooperate with them when necessary. They made me sign on a paper to appear at the station upon request.
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