Bahrain rape allegation was ‘concocted’: Al Wefaq

May 9, 2013

A story that shocked Bahrainis about an alleged rape by a Bahraini police officer of a pregnant woman last week proved to be untrue and had been concocted, according to a political society.

“Following an intensive follow-up, investigations and a scrutiny launched since the time of the incident, we have concluded that what had been published on the incident was not true,” Al Wefaq, the largest opposition society, said in a statement posted on its website.

The rape allegations were posted on the internet and online media late on Friday and included a highly emotional account by the purported victim, a 25-year-old pregnant woman who graphically reported her ordeal.

According to the allegations, the unidentified woman said she had been abducted by two uniformed members of the Public Security Force, a Bahraini and a Yemeni, who handcuffed her and took her to an undisclosed location where the Bahraini officer raped her despite her pleas.

However, the police said that they were not aware of the incident and urged the alleged victim to file a formal complaint that would help conduct a thorough investigation into the case.

Maj Gen Tareq Hassan Al Hassan, the head of Public Security, said that an “initial investigation has been conducted wherein people, including the President of the National Commission of Human Rights, who had discussed the case on the social media, were contacted”.

“None of those interviewed could provide any details or the identity of the woman,” Al Hassan said.

The police chief said that the interior ministry was “gravely concerned about the allegation of sexual assault” and strongly condemned the reported behaviour.

“The conduct as alleged in this case is deeply offensive and contrary to the morals of the Public Security Force and is categorically condemned,” he said. “However, in order to conduct a thorough, professional and transparent investigation, the woman in question will have to come forward and make a statement to police. She should contact a police station as soon as possible.”

Bahrain’s police, following harsh criticism in the report published in November 2011 by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), the international fact-finding team that investigated the events that occurred in the Kingdom in February and March, have been implementing a series of breakthrough recommendations.

Last year, the interior ministry issued a code of conduct that required the police to adhere fully to principles of human rights and freedom for all citizens.

The code obliges officers to abide by 10 principles, including limited use of force and a policy of zero tolerance on torture and mistreatment.

“This code of conduct represents a new social treaty between members of Bahraini society and the police,” said Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the interior minister. “It will mark the start of a new era and a correct path to building bridges of confidence between the united Bahraini society and the police, based on the rule of law, integrity, transparency, tolerance, and the breaking of psychological barriers between them,” he said.

The ministry is fully aware that its objective is to achieve security for the state and its citizens within the framework of the law, he said.

“This mission reflects a tradition that stems from society and is in the interests of society. Enforcing the law must be based on the values of justice, equity, integrity and commitment to the standards of human rights.”



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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