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‘Bahrain govt should probe deaths in custody’

Posted by on April 14, 2011 0 Comment

Bahrain should investigate the death in police custody of three people, US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said yesterday.

Bahrain has launched a security crackdown after its police forces quelled weeks of pro-democracy protests last month.

The opposition says hundreds have been arrested and four have died in police custody over the past 10 days.

“It’s outrageous and cruel that people are taken off to detention and the families hear nothing until the body shows up with signs of abuse,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director for the New York-based group.

“The authorities need to explain why this is happening, put a stop to it, and hold anyone responsible to account.”

HRW said it had seen the body of Ali Saqer, one of the men who died in police custody, and that it bore signs of severe physical abuse.

Bahrain has accused human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, of doctoring pictures of the corpse.

“We viewed Ali Saqer’s body just prior to his burial and its condition was exactly as shown in the photo that Nabeel Rajab circulated,” Stork said.

Ali Saqer was charged with attempting to run over a policeman with his car last month. Four policemen died during the unrest, including at least two run over by the cars of protesters. At least 13 protesters died. Reuters

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