Bahrain should investigate torture allegations: rights group

WASHINGTON- Bahrain should investigate allegations of torture made by four Shiite activists who were detained by security forces in mid-August, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in a statement.
"Bahraini authorities should immediately investigate... allegations of torture and guarantee the physical and psychological well-being of the four men," Joe Stork, the deputy Middle East director at HRW, said in the late-Wednesday statement.

King of Bahrain
King of Bahrain
Abduljalil al-Singace, a leading figure in the mainly-Shiite opposition association Haq, told Bahrain's attorney general in late August that he had been tortured by security forces while in detention over the previous 15 days, HRW said.
"The next day, three other detainees arrested shortly after al-Singace complained of similar mistreatment at the hands of their captors during their Public Prosecution Office proceedings," it said.
Bahraini security forces arrested Singace on August 13, and the three other activists -- Sheikh Mohammed al-Moqdad, Sheikh Saeed al-Nuri and Abdulghani Ali Issa Khanjar -- on August 15, the rights group said.
HRW cited an unnamed lawyer as saying that "at least 160" additional arrests have been made subsequently. One, HRW said, was Singace's sister.
Bahrain is ruled by a Sunni dynasty but has a Shiite majority population.
Haq, or the Movement of Liberties and Democracy, is a splinter group of the main Shiite formation, the Islamic National Accord Association (INAA). It insisted on boycotting elections in 2006 while INAA scooped 17 of 40 parliament seats.
Bahrain experienced a wave of Shiite-led unrest in the 1990s, which abated after authorities began steps to finally convert the Gulf emirate into a constitutional monarchy in 2002.

Friday, September 3rd 2010

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