23 May 2017 – The following report was submitted by BIRD to the Committee Against Torture ahead of the 60th session of the CAT. “Victims Suffer, Perpetrators Promoted: No Accountability for Torture in Bahrain” demonstrates the oversight bodies tasked with handling allegations of torture in Bahrain, including the UK-sponsored Minister of Interior Ombudsman, Special Investigations Unit and the Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Rights Commission, are not sufficiently independent from Bahrain’s Public Prosecution Office, and are therefore incapable of bringing fair accountability to those accused of torture. On the contrary, we found that alleged torturers in Bahrain more frequently receive promotions than punishments after accusations are heard against them.
We also emphasised that many allegations of torture are received from human rights defenders and journalists in Bahrain, who are routinely imprisoned as a form of retribution for their work. Specifically, we provided evidence of the intimidation activists such as Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, have faced since 2011. In its concluding observations on Bahrain, CAT called for Rajab’s immediate release.