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Urgent Interventions

Bahrain: coalition of NGOs's letter concerning the impunity of Mr Adel Felaifel

Ambassador Saeed Mohammed Al-Faihani
Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Bahrain
to the United Nations in Geneva
Chemin William Barbey 51
Case postale 39, 1292 Chambésy
Geneva, Switzerland

17th December 2002

Your Excellency,


We wish to express our support for the progress his Majesty, the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khlifa and his government have made with the reforms to bring democracy to the Kingdom of Bahrain and for their decision to ratify the UN Convention against Torture in 1998. We also welcome your government’s decision to detain Mr Adel Felaifel.

Numerous Bahraini citizens have stated that while they were detained at the Security and Intelligence Service Headquarters during the 1990’s they were tortured and they name Mr Felaifel as either participating in brutal acts of torture or ordering others to carry out the torture. We also are aware that currently in Bahrain victims, politicians and citizens of Bahrain are calling on the government for an investigation into these grave allegations. We give our full support to their demands for justice and we urge your government to ensure that the Directorate for Public Prosecutions in Bahrain addresses the complaints of torture against Mr Felaifel which have been recently presented by eight victims and to ensure that all other victims are able to take such course of action in accordance with Bahrain’s obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture. The royal decree 56-2002 granting amnesty to members of the Security and Intelligence Services for acts that took place before the decree was passed should not apply to the crime of torture or ill treatment and therefore should not prevent claims from being investigated and prosecutions from taking place. This would be in clear contravention to Bahrain’s obligations under international law and specifically under the UN Convention against Torture.

Torture is one of the most serious crimes prohibited under international law and every allegation of torture should be subject to a prompt, impartial and independent investigation in accordance with Bahrain’s unequivocal obligation under article 12 of the UN Convention Against Torture. This is the right of every victim. It is a requirement that all perpetrators of torture be made accountable and therefore where there is sufficient evidence to bring the accused to justice, alleged perpetrators should be tried in accordance with international human rights standards.

We urge his Majesty, the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and his government to ensure that an effective investigation into the allegations of torture against Mr Felaifel is conducted immediately with a view to bringing a prosecution in accordance with international standards. This will go along way in providing redress for the victims..

We look forward to receiving your response.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Carmichael
Executive Director

Jens Modvig
Secretary General
International Rehabilitation
Council for Torture Victims

Patrick Byrne
International Federation of Action by Christians for
the Abolition of Torture

Eric Sottas
World Organisation against Torture

Mark Thomson
Secretary General
Association for the
Prevention of Torture (APT)
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