Ebtisam Saegh to Amnesty: The Men Told Me ‘No One Can Protect You’


Amnesty International called on Wednesday (May 31, 2017) the Bahraini authorities to immediately end the torture and other ill-treatment of human rights defenders and other critics of the government, and to investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment with the intention to bring those responsible to justice through fair trials.


The state must end all forms of reprisals it is currently using against human rights defenders and government critics, targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression, Amnesty stressed.


This call comes after woman human rights defender Ebtisam al-Saegh described to Amnesty International the torture she was subjected to for around seven hours on 26 May at the National Security Agency (NSA) building in Muharraq.

Amnesty International is gravely concerned that other peaceful critics and human rights defenders,


Ebtisam al-Saegh told Amnesty International that she received a phone call on 25 May from the NSA who told her to present herself to the NSA building in Muharraq the following afternoon. When she arrived, she was immediately blindfolded, and in the subsequent hours, she was beaten all over her body, kicked in the stomach and kept standing for most of the seven hours she was being interrogated.


“They beat me on my nose and they kicked me in the stomach, knowing that I had undergone surgery on my nose and that I was suffering from my colon. I could hear an electric device next to me, which was to scare me. I was made to stand up for most of the time, except for ten minutes when they wanted to eat something. I fainted twice and was woken up with cold water thrown on me. They sat me on a chair only for a few seconds while still interrogating me. I was threatened that my daughter would be raped and that they would bring my husband and torture and electrocute him. The men told me ‘no one can protect you’. They took away my humanity, I was weak prey to them.”


Amnesty warned that the torture of human rights defenders, in this instance a woman, is a clear indication that the Bahraini government has stepped up its repression of peaceful critics and human rights defenders, moving from locking them up or banning them from travel, to now resorting to torture in order to force them to halt their activities.

To read the full report, click here.