Bahrain: A human rights crisis
The human rights situation in Bahrain has deteriorated seriously since December 1994 following widespread demonstrations and protests calling on the government to restore democractic rights. Several thousand people have been arrested, many of whom continue to be held incommmunicado without charge or trial. At least 150 detainees have been tried and convicted following proceedings which fell far short of international standards for fair trial. Torture and ill-treatment of detainees has been widespread and systematic, with two deaths in custody reported to date. Security forces and riot police repeatedly used live ammunition to quell protestors and ten civilians may have been extrajudicially execeuted in this way. At least 20 Bahraini nationals were forcibly exiled from the country or denied entry on attempting to return. The government of Bahrain denies that widespread violations of human rights have occurred. It has failed to release information of the names and whereabouts of those arrested and has so far not set up investigations into allegations of torture or killing of demonstrators. AI recommends 13 measures which could be taken to improve the human rights situation in Bahrain.