The recommendations of the fact-finding committee with regard to the powers of the National Security Apparatus and accounting of its members has not been applied

Victims presented their testimonies to BCHR and recognized their torturers from among members of the National Security Apparatus

The former National Security Apparatus Kalifa bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa

17 Oct 2012

Bahrain Center for Human Rights is seriously concerned after receiving several complaints from victims who were tortured by officers and individuals belonging to the National Security Apparatus (most of its members are foreigners [1]), which confirms the involvement of this apparatus in human rights violations committed by its members, despite the claim and announcement of reducing its powers theoretically. The Monitoring Committee of BCHR has monitored and documented the participation of a number of officers and members of the National Security Apparatus in directing the riot police to suppress and arrest peaceful protesters in a demonstration that was called for by pro-democracy people under the title of self-determination on 12 October 2012. Multiple testimonies were obtained by BCHR from victims who were able to identify members of the National Security Apparatus who participated in torture besides the monitoring of the BCHR through videos and recent pictures which clearly show the involvement and supervision of the National Security Apparatus in the process of repression, torture and arrests until the time of writing of this report.

Officers and members of the National Security Apparatus appear in public participating in the recent repression and arrests:

Members of the security apparatus accused of torture and participation in the suppression of demonstrations in Manama on October 12, 2012

On 12 October 2012, opposition groups called for the demonstration in the capital Manama attributed to self-determination and calling for freedom and democracy, but riot police besieged the area and suppressed the demonstrators using stun grenades, tear gas and batons. There was a notable presence of civilian individuals of the National Security Apparatus who were involved in the repression and contributed to chasing and arresting of protesters. BCHR later found that those individuals were a group of police officers from the National Security Apparatus that contributed to the massive violations in the period from August 2010 to February and March 2011 and thereafter. BCHR has received many complaints from victims who accused them of torture, among those victims of are number of prominent opposition figures.

Video link to members of the National Security Apparatus in Manama heading to the demonstration site:


The torture victim (A.H) who participated in the above mentioned peaceful demonstration entitled “self-determination” in Manama presented to BCHR as a witness to the participation of officers and members of the National Security Apparatus, who are accused of torturing (A. H) in 2010 and 2011, as based on (A.H) testimony which confirmed that the people appear in the video are a group of police officers from the National Security Apparatus and that he was subjected to torture by them at (AL-Howdh AL-Jaf) prison, the ward of the National Security Apparatus along with hundreds of detainees at the time.

The victim (A.M) also identified them, and said that they were directing the riot police and followed a number of demonstrators in the capital Manama. The witness (A.M) added that the riot police managed to arrest one of the peaceful demonstrators, and that members of the National Security Apparatus participated in the chasing and receiving of that demonstrator from the riot police and taking him to a security car. BCHR has received a video showing that group of civilian members who participated with riot police in chasing demonstrators and arresting one. BCHR found with no doubts that this group which appeared in the previous video are members of the Security Apparatus as based on the testimonies of the victims.

Pictures of members of the National Security Apparatus participating in directing the riot police repression and arrests of demonstrators - in the red circle - Manama - October 2012


Video link for the riot forces with members of the security Apparatus arresting one of the protesters:


BCHR also received a testimony from another victim (A.A), who stated that he recognized the civilians participating in the suppression of the march in the capital Manama, and that they are officers and members of the security Apparatus who contributed to his torture. He also confirmed that many of them are claimed to be involved in the torturing of the political leaders accused in “the case of the 21” as based on the documented testimonies. (A.A) also said that one of them is named (Abu Ahmed), a lieutenant in the security Apparatus, he was named in the testimony of the detainee Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mahroos (known as Mirza Al-Mahroos) who talked in his testimony about the torture he suffered:

"… One has come to me and asked (do you know me?) I said no, they uncovered my eyes and it was the Lieutenant Abu Ahmed who works in the National Security Apparatus, and he started to scream at me loudly; You want to overthrow the regime. Then he slapped me on the face with cruelty, and insulted me and my doctrine; he told me “you have spoken about your exposure to sexual assaulted and now I will do rape you”, he took me out of the car and raised my clothes and stuck his body with my body from the back and then he threatened me and said we will take you to Saudi Arabia and there you will be executed, and then kicked and handcuffed me harshly, leaving an effect on my hands for approximately three months. Then I was taken to ‘Alqrain’ prison, which I thought to be a prison in Saudi Arabia as based on what they told. " [2]

According to the monitoring of BCHR, the witness (A.A) specified that (Abu Ahmed) appears with the same group suppressing the demonstration in Manama.

Image - October 2012 - the lieutenant in the National Security Apparatus (Abu Ahmed) mentioned in the statement of Sheikh Al-Mahroos

The witness (A.H), who also participated in the peaceful march in Manama, said that he was tortured by this group and that he had seen in the demonstration in Manama on 12 October 2012 along with the security members and officers one of the main people accused of torture; the Lieutenant Yusuf Ali Yusuf Al-Manaei. Al-Manaei was leading a group of riot police wearing the uniform of the Special Forces. It is known for BCHR that Yusuf Ali Yusuf Al-Manaei is one of the officers working under the supervision of Capt. Bader Ibrahim Habib Al Ghaith, and Al Ghaith is the Captain accused of torturing the political symbols in the case of the 21 and he is the responsible for the injuries suffered by the human rights activist Abdul Hadi Al-Khawaja.

photo of the lieutenant in the National Security Apparatus Yousif Ali Yousif Al-Manaei

The Bahraini independent fact-finding committee had clearly recommended to reduce the powers of the National Security Apparatus and to be limited to intelligence information gathering, as it was among their authorities to undertake arrest and investigation; as it came in its report text "modified decree on the establishment of the National Security Apparatus to keep it as a body concerned about collecting intelligence information without the enforcement or suspension of the law" [3]

The Committee also recommended the accountability of those officials and officers accused with torture, because of their involvement in the extreme violations of human rights including the murder of demonstrators and torturing them to death; the raiding, stealing, and destruction of the contents of houses; and other documented violations, during the period of national safety status (emergency law status). The authority in Bahrain claim its commitment to implement the recommendations of the (Bassiouni committee) and those related to the national security, as the King of Bahrain quickly issued decree law No. 115 of 2011 to amend some provisions of Decree No. 14 of 2002 establishing the National Security Apparatus, and it came in the amendment[4]:

"ARTICLE IV: The National Security Apparatus specialize in collecting information and monitoring and detecting all harmful activities related to spying, espionage and terrorism, in order to preserve the national security of the kingdom and its institutions and systems.

Article V repeating (1) the fourth paragraph: The National Security Apparatus is to transmit cases of arrest or detention to the Interior Ministry to take the required legal action "

Although the law was consistent with the recommendations of the fact-finding committee headed by the legal expert Sherif Bassiouni both in form and content the Bahrain Center for Human Rights found through monitoring and documentation that the National Security Apparatus is still practicing all its previous roles and that the decree of reducing its powers is merely ink on paper as it is not applied practically. It seems that the aim of issuing this decree was just for media consumption and not serious in correcting the situation of violations. In addition, none of the officials, officers and members belonging to this Apparatus who were involved in the tortures and abuses that affected hundreds of victims which reached its peak in the year 2011 have been held accountable. On top of those responsible for the violations is the former head of the National Security Apparatus, Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Khalifa who was promoted rather than being held accountable for crimes of torture and murder during the whole period of the national safety. He was succeeded in presidency by Adel Khalifa Hamad Al-Fadhel who was appointed by the King of Bahrain. [5]

Bahrain Center for Human Rights based on all the documented evidences, has become certain that the policy of impunity is a systematic policy, and that those involved in the torture and crimes against humanity are still working and chasing more victims.

Based on the above, BCHR provides the following:

- Non-application of the recommendations of the Bahraini Fact Finding Committee on reducing the powers of the National Security Apparatus, and that Decree No. 115 of 2011 on amending some provisions of Decree No. 14 of 2002 about establishing the National Security Apparatus and its roles, has not been implemented in practice, but it only came for media exploitation purposes.

- Non-application of the recommendations of the Bahraini Fact Finding Committee on accountability of those accused of violations, led by officials, officers and personnel of the National Security Apparatus along with its former head Khalifa bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa.

- The officials, officers and members of the National Security Apparatus who were involved in the violations must be held accountable, especially those who were mentioned in this report.

- All officers and personnel of the National Security Apparatus who are involved in the crimes and abuses, must be held accountable and be prosecuted, including its former head Khalifa bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, Captain Badr Ibrahim Habib Al Ghaith, lieutenant Yousif Ali Yousif Al-Manaei and others.

- The international community should include the names of those individuals in the wanted lists and to prevent them from entering all countries of the world, especially those countries that have strong ties with the government of Bahrain.



[1]a previous report for BCHR about the structure of the national security service [2]AlMahroos testimony [3]BICI report [4]Bahrain News Agency report on reducing the powers of the National Security apparatus [5]france24.com