Human rights violations against Bahraini women

TEHRAN, Sep. 18 (MNA) – Elham Shakeri, researcher at BFHR stressed that the Bahraini authorities’ claims and demand for peace, security and peaceful coexistence in the region contradicts its approach to the systematic persecution of Bahraini women.

The researcher at the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights Elham Shakeri said that that the Bahraini authorities’ claims and demands for peace, security and peaceful coexistence in the region contradicts its approach to the systematic persecution of Bahraini women.

Following include major parts of her speech in the third session of “Ashura ladies” webinars, held yesterday evening, 16/09/2020.

Since the outbreak of Bahrain uprisings and political crisis in 2011, suppression of freedoms has got numerous forms within several levels: security level, political level, legal level, judicial level and amongst media. Therefore, the official repression has not been not limited to one sector only, but rather affected all sectors of the society: the youth, the elders, the women and the children.

Also, the means of violations against Bahraini women have been divided between: extrajudicial killings, arbitrary job dismissals, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, discrimination in official education missions and in employment.

Brief list of numbers

Statistics and monitoring of human rights violations in Bahrain reveal that from 2011 to the end of June 2020 more than 300 Bahraini women were arrested, including 8 children. 6 cases were arrested from country’s border crossings, 10 from public roads/streets, 25 cases after being summoned, 2 from the courtrooms, 38 after home raids, 1 by a summon note, 1 from a medical center, 3 from their workplaces, 11 from security check points and 16 from a governmental organization.

By the beginning of the political crisis in 2011, more than 450 male and female university students were dismissed based on political causes which some of them were trialed, knowing that female students were not excluded from this retaliation. The share of women from this process was dismissal of more than 200 female students, in addition to dismissal of more than 380 women from their jobs at public and private sectors.

Moreover, more than 10 Bahraini women were extrajudicially killed which Miss. Bahia Al-Aradi is among them. A live bullet by the Bahraini army shot her.

Threat of attack against women, a method of torture

Testimonies of some of victims indicate that the security services, to force detainees to make false confessions have threatened them with targeting and sexually abusing their relatives and female members of family, as a method of torture. The Bahrain Independent Committee of Investigation (BICI) report revealed that dozens of citizens were threatened with the rape of their sisters wives and even mothers to make confessions. This is mentioned in paragraph No. 1190 and in several cases in the second appendix to the report on the summaries of statements, which are cases No. 7, No. 18, No. 26, No. 52, etc.

Victims of illegal house raids

Over the past years, more than 5,000 houses and private properties have been raided and stormed, during which residents are insulted verbally, obviously women are the first victims. Per paragraph No.1126 of BICI report issued in 2011, “Women were asked to stand in their pajamas and were not allowed to cover their bodies, which caused them embarrassment and made them humiliated as this act goes against their religious beliefs”, the report adds: “The masked security personnel which were armed, displayed their weapons to strike terror into residents of the houses."

Patterns of violations that were monitored during the past years:

1)    A number of women were extrajudicially killed.

2)    Arbitrary dismissal of jobs.

3)    In many governmental departments and public utilities, women were subjected to arbitrary detention in humiliating manners.

4)    Some women were subjected to torture and ill-treatment by the security services during detention.

5)    A number of female prisoners were subjected to sexual harassment and the threat of rape.

6)    Terrorizing family members, including women and children, during the break-ins by security forces.

7)    Theft of women's personal and precious properties during the break-ins.

Some instances and evidences:

Miss. Zakia Albarboori, a prisoner of conscience (32 years old):

15 masked security personnel arrested Zakia, which is a chemical engineer, from her house following an illegal raid on May 18, 2018 at about 3am. The house was surrounded by a number of military vehicles and a helicopter over the head.

She was tried based on the confessions extracted under torture; also her nationality was revoked which subsequently was returned to her later on. Albarboori was subjected to enforced disappearance for 14 days and was placed in solitary confinement for 28 days. Criminal Investigation officers threatened her with arresting her brothers. Her right to receive adequate and necessary treatment was violated and she was subjected to degrading inspections. Some of the monitored violations against her are: restricting her family visits and restricting the time she is allowed outside the cell.

Mrs. Ebtesam Al-Saegh, a human rights defender

Ebtesam who is a prominent human rights activist while in custody at May 2017 was subjected to torture by members of the Bahraini National Security Agency (NSA) including sexual assault. Subsequently she was arrested in 3rd July 2017 after masked security officers stormed her home following her tweet about abuses, which female detainees face in Isa Town detention center. She was held in extremely harsh conditions and subjected to treatments degrading her human dignity, torture and ill treatment, she revealed after her release.

In March 2019, 6 United Nations experts announced that they had made an urgent appeal regarding the violations and threats against 3 female human rights defenders in Bahrain, including Hajar Mansour, Ebtesam Al-Saegh and Zainab Al-Khamis, demanding an investigation into maltreatment of them.

Mrs. Najah Yousef, An activist

Najah a former Bahraini prisoner of conscience and a victim of torture, in several press statements revealed that she had been subjected to torture, sexual abuse, humiliation and degrading treatment while in detention, over her calls to boycott the Formula1 race. "The police beat me and threatened me with rape" said Najah, who is dismissed of her job as a civil servant following her arrest. “They also threatened to kill me and told me that they would kill my children, and that they would fabricate an accident to kill them” they added, “everything will look normal. We are able to do this to you.”

Najah was arbitrarily imprisoned for posting tweets criticizing the Formula1 race.

 Mrs. Hajar Mansoor

Hajar Mansour who is the mother-in-law of Sayed Ahmad Al-Wadaei, director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), was imprisoned along with two of Al-Wadaei’s relatives based on their family affiliation, after being convicted of ironic charges such as planting fake bombs in the southwest of Manama, the capital of Bahrain, and following a grossly unfair trial. This was in retaliation and due to Al-Wadaei human rights activities. Hajar was subjected to numerous violations during the period of arbitrary detention, including: violating the right to receive adequate and appropriate health care.

“The United Nations working group on arbitrary detention” issued an opinion on January 7, 2019, in which it concluded that the Hajar Mansour, Sayyid Nizar Al-Wadaei and Mahmoud Marzouq Mansour are imprisoned were arbitrarily, and also indicated that they were deprived of their liberty, subjected to interrogation and persecution due to their family affiliation with Mr. Ahmed Al-Wadaei.

MNA/ 

News Code 163663

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