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  • Most of the women were arrested and tortured in the context of a Shia-led opposition movement that started to protest in 2011.

    Most of the women were arrested and tortured in the context of a Shia-led opposition movement that started to protest in 2011. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 October 2019
Opinion

"These women were targeted for their opinions or those of their relatives," Human Rights expert Bridget Quitter said.

The Bahraini government was slammed Tuesday by right organizations in a Washington DC event on Capitol Hill, as human rights advocacy groups accused the Gulf state's government of what they say is the systematic targeting and mistreatment in jails of political activists women.

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"These women were targeted for their opinions or those of their relatives," Legal Officer at Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) Bridget Quitter said.

The human rights expert added that "they were subjected to rights violations from the moment of their arrest, through their interrogation and torture, unfair trials and detention in conditions which fail to meet international standards."

A recent report titled, 'Breaking the Silence: Bahraini Women Political Prisoners Expose Systemic Abuses', was presented Tuesday, highlighting the cases of nine former and current women detained in Bahrain all through the process of their arrests and trials, as well as the conditions under which they were and are detained. 

Conducted by the London based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and the ADHRB, the report revealed that the women were arrested without search warrants and were subjected to physical, psychological and sexual assaults during interrogation. Coerced confessions were also used as evidence to sentence them.

Most of the women were arrested and tortured in the context of a Shia-led opposition movement that started to protest in 2011 demanding reforms in the Sunni-led kingdom. But the ruling Al Khalifa family has responded by cracking down the opposition with the help of Saudi Arabia. 

The country of 1.5 million, headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, continued to see intermittent clashes. Hundreds of protesters have been imprisoned since then, and have fled abroad.

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