Middle East

BCHR concerned over rights violations

bahrain_protstA Bahraini rights group has expressed deep concern over alleged human rights violations committed by the government and the silence observed by the international community.The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said on Thursday that the harassment has intensified since the latest security crackdown began in August.

The BCHR said that according to its estimates, there are now 415 people in prison. More than 116 of them are said to be minors, it said. All of those charged are Shia.

The defendants allege that they are tortured in order to extract confessions, a charge the authorities deny. The police are also arresting children as young as fourteen without a warrant. Bahrain has a predominately Shia population, but is ruled by a constitutional Sunni monarchy. October’s Parliamentary elections were marred by a crackdown on protests held by opposition figures calling for more power in the polls. Human rights groups have severely criticized Bahraini authorities for their crackdown on the freedom of expression notably through blocking internet websites and opening judicial proceedings against those journalists who speak out against rights violations in the country.

International rights organizations have also called on Bahrain to investigate the torture allegations.

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