Nephew of Bahraini Activist Kidnapped, Assaulted
Freedom House is shocked by the kidnapping, beating and brutal sexual assault of 16-year-old Ali al-Singace in Bahrain and calls for an immediate investigation into this heinous crime. Al-Singace is the nephew of prominent Bahraini activist Abduljalil al-Singace, who was convicted along with 14 other activists to life in prison. Ali al-Singace has been kidnapped and harassed in the past – intelligence agents reportedly were trying to force him to work as an informant.
Bahraini citizens have been broadly engaged in protests since February 2011, to call for a more representative government and to denounce ethnic-based inequities in a country run by the Sunni Al-Khalifa royal family, where the majority of citizens are Shiite. Despite promises of reform, Bahraini authorities have continued to use torture against detainees, block access to medical services, and raid the homes of suspected protesters. Bahraini rights groups have reported ongoing arrests, intimidation, and in some cases torture of those speaking out against despotic rule. In February 2012, one year after the “Pearl Roundabout” anniversary, a number of human rights activists were detained – including Zainab Alkhawaja and Nabeel Rajab.