Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bahrain: Leading human rights activist describes riot police attack

Amnesty International
9 January 2012

"A prominent Bahraini human rights activist has told Amnesty International how he was injured when security forces attacked peaceful protesters in Manama on Friday evening.

Nabeel Rajab, the director of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was hospitalized after a group of police punched him and used truncheons to beat him in the face, back and elsewhere.

The attack happened near Rajab's car after riot police had fired tear gas at protesters marching along Manama’s Bab al-Bahrain Street to call for the release of political prisoners.

“I fell on the ground but they continued to beat me – they even stamped on me and kicked me,” Nabeel Rajab told Amnesty International after being treated for his injuries at Salmaniya hospital late on Friday night.

“This went on for a few minutes and then a senior officer recognized me and intervened. He asked the others to stop and he helped me. I was taken to Salmaniya hospital, where I was treated for about three hours. I have a lot of bruises on my back and on my face.”......

“The Bahraini security forces’ ongoing violent attacks on peaceful protesters fly in the face of official pledges to make amends and to implement the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

Attacks on human rights defenders and peaceful protesters must not be tolerated, and those responsible for Friday’s violence must be held accountable for their actions.”"

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