Government of Bahrain Urged to Prevent Torture

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Geneva, 25 August 2011. The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) calls upon the Government of Bahrain to urgently take measures to prevent torture and ill-treatment. If the Government of Bahrain has a political will to improve human rights protection for detainees, it should publicly demonstrate this by ratifying the UN torture prevention treaty before the end of 2011.

Ensuring non-repetition of violations in the future constitutes a form of reparation for victims and contributes to reconciliation, the APT writes in a public submission to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry submitted yesterday. The Geneva-based human rights organization therefore calls upon Bahrain to install mechanisms for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment, as part of a process of establishing truth and rendering justice for human rights violations that have taken place since February 2011 in Bahrain.

Bahrain should sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT) before the end of 2011 and create its implementation mechanisms without delay, the organization recommends. This treaty prevents torture in its State’s Parties through creating a system of regular visits by independent experts to all places of deprivation of liberty.

The APT further urges Bahrain to improve safeguards against torture in national law and practice. "Provisions should be taken immediately to abolish the use of incommunicado detention. All persons deprived of liberty need to be given the opportunity to meet an independent lawyer from the outset of their detention", the submission highlights.

The submission to the Bahrain Independent Inquiry Commission "Installation of mechanisms for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment" is available on APT’s website.

For more information, please contact Esther Schaufelberger, Programme Officer for the Middle East and North Africa at the APT, Tel. 0041 22 919 21 74, or