More Allegations of Torture and Ill Treatment in Bahrain

June 27, 2014 – The United Nations expert on torture says his office has received information that torture and denial of medical treatment is continuing in Bahrain detention centers.

Juan Mendez, the special rapporteur on torture, also said that, despite his requests, the government of Bahrain have still not set a date for him to visit the country. The authorities in the Gulf country have “postponed” two of his previously planned visits.

“On a regular basis my mandate receives information and allegations of torture and ill treatment of detainees including beatings and forced confessions,” he said in a video address on Thursday. “We also receive information about denial of medical treatment to people who are suffering different ailments. Some of them originated in torture and some of them pre-existing but either way in violation of the obligation of the state of Bahrain to provide adequate medical treatment to anybody in detention.”

Mendez, an Argentine who was detained for 18 months during Argentina’s military dictatorship and suffered torture, also said that “there is very little information pointing to the fulfillment of Bahrain’s obligation to investigate, prosecute and punish torture.”

He added that the “important recommendations” made by the 2011 Independent Commission of Inquiry are “in a state of non-implementation.”

“We also receive frequent complaints of excessive use of force in the street. Since the clashes of early 2011 those reports have been unceasing which means that the government has not changed its policy regarding crowd control or excessive use of force,” he said.

– Denis Fitzgerald 
On Twitter @denisfitz