Bahrain: Women and children subject to increasing abuse
Since 1994 there has been increasing political unrest and violence following calls for the restoration of parliament and the Constitution. The authorities have responded to the unrest with widespread arbitrary arrests, apparent extrajudicial killings, imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, torture and the death penalty. They have also continued a policy of forcible exile. During the unrest women joined in the "pro-democracy" calls, demanding the release of political detainees. Schoolchildren and high school female students also staged protest demonstrations. The security forces arrested a number of women and children, and although most have now been released, many were kept in solitary confinement and reportedly suffered cruel and degrading treatment. Arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detention, torture and unfair trials of children continue.