Bahrain remains in full of protests and riots, as the government tries to crack down they have taken many new suspects into custody.
It was announced this past weekend that police have arrested 22 suspects who have allegedly been part of the civil protests and unrest within Bahrain. Some have been accused of participating in what the Bahraini police are calling, a terrorist attack, police forces in a small village outside of Manama as that took place on March 7th. Others are being arrested for their part in the Formula One Riots that just recently took place. Still some are being arrested on charges of blockading roads and burning tires. The majority of the suspects were picked up in Shiite neighborhoods. It is estimated by human rights groups that since the start of these demonstrations in 2011, at least 80 people have been killed and thousands arrested.
This comes after the indefinite postponement of the UN torture reporter Mr. Juan Mendez meeting in Bahrain. The cancellation was a unilateral decision made by Bahraini officials. This event had been in the making for a year and a half yet after recent events, Bahrain was not willing to oblige.
As these two stories come out within a week of each other, the cancelled visit impacts the way we view the new suspects, that have been apprehended. Is this something the UN should be watching more closely? With this meeting cancelled does this imply Bahrain is using various methods of torture and not willing to stop? That is what it seems like to me, while there isn’t any hard evidence the connections seem too strong. As we have discussed in class due to the threat felt by the regime, they are more likely to use repression to try and control their population, torture is part of that.