Security Forces are engaging in rogue practices which inflame the current situation in Bahrain and endanger innocent civilians even further

18 March 2011

The BCHR strongly condemns the recently reported attack with a Molotov cocktail on the house of journalist and commentator Lamees Dhaif, who has recently been outspoken in her opposition to government policies.

The BCHR notes that shocking evidence has surfaced showing that members of security forces are encouraging the targeting of opposition figures. The BCHR have seen broadcast messages issued by security personnel listing the telephone numbers of Ms Dhaif along with former Health Minister Dr Nizar Al Baharna, former MP Jalal Fairouz, the Iranian ambassador to Bahrain as well as others, urging contacts to harass the individuals.

Broadcasts also include incitement to sectarian hatred, describing the individuals as 'children of muta'a' (meaning temporary marriages, a practice accepted within Shia Islam). Inflammatory broadcasts also claim that the 'Baharna' (meaning Shia Bahraini) are gathering in Hamad Town to declare 'jihad' (religious war) on Sunni Bahrainis, and urges them (Sunni Bahrainis) to move out of neighborhoods inhabited by Shia Bahrainis.

Floating footage show riot police armed and wearing protective clothing kicking an unarmed civilian who is sprawled on the road in a residential area, captioned as being in Sitra, where the army incursion on Tuesday took place (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNH1OGUcaBM&feature=player_embedded). Likewise, police have been captured on camera smashing cars (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukpriV35efo). The image on top, also being broadcast by security personnel show a boot aimed at the Pearl roundabout, where the protest camp was established, and the text "disperse people, we will trample on you".

"The current civil violence in Bahrain is not only caused by the sudden disappearance of police from ordinary duties, which has allowed the rise of mob rule and 'baltajiyya' (armed thugs) policing the streets," BCHR president Nabeel Rajab said.

"But it is clearly also caused by certain units of the police itself."

The BCHR calls for: - An immediate end to the continual excessive use of violence and rogue practices of security personnel in Bahrain - A top down reform of the Interior Minsitry which is already notorious for its culture of brutality and corruption - Independent and transparent investigations into all acts of violence, including crimes committed by members of the security forces

The BCHR notes that the dangerous effect of the rogue actions of security personnel, many of whom are Asian, has lead to targeted attacks on ordinary Asian civilian residents in Bahrain in recent days (see previous release).