Bahrain: The Other Face of the Revolution

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Looking at Bahrain revolution from a different angle, the documentary reports on how Bahraini female political prisoners have been tortured, raped, and harassed in jail.

TIME CODE : 00:00_05:00

Nada:

I chose to stand up and to fight for freedom.

Ayat :

She focused the beating on my face, after that I was more surprised when she electrocuted me in the face.

A guy :

Don't move him…

Sana:

Here in our office of investigation, we beat everyone, we don't make any difference between man and woman, so don't lie to us, its better for you.

Nada:

My prison experience has not…. my desire to help the poor and oppress people from behind the unjust.

My name is Nada, I am a doctor from Bahrain and I am here today to raise the voice of my colleague who are hostages in Bahrain.

That being a woman has to begin by to get our freedom, keep our dignity and to stay with hope for better future.

Nazeha:

Suddenly I saw police man putting a gun his arm in the man head and blowing it up.

Nada:

I also speak to all women around the world who are facing all kinds of injustice

People:

God is great

UNITED NATION:

Next I give to voice to the represent of Bravo NGO. Give the line for citizen partnership.

Nada:

Thank you Mr president, we would like to thanks the forty four members state who signed this initiated statement last week about Bahrain. We hope to see more statements in this nature in the future with more signatures and more actions from the council. As you know, it has been a significant increase the reprisals against Human Right defenders in the context of UPR. Unfortunately the Bahrain authorities gave the worst example of repression on Human Defenders and therefore I am deeply concern for the weal fear of two of my Bahraini friends who has joined me to advocate in Geneva.

Nada:

I become a Human Right defender by force of circumstances. I chose to become a doctor but I never imagine that one day I will be a political prisoner.

There are about two hundred forty women were arrested and some were victims of torture just like me or even more. I am going to meet some of them and to hear their stories.

Nada:

Ayat, I know that the experience was so hard and I know how it was so difficult, please forgive me if I ask you to give me more details. How were you tortured?

Ayat:

The first torture, and it was the hardest one, was to be arrested at my home in front of my family, they were crying, in front my mum, she was crying, saying to them.

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

Ayat:

Please don't beat my daughter, don't do anything to her please…

Poetry Ayat:

In the prison of Bahrian there were women who were tortured every minute, Their suffering grew up minute by minute, In the prison of Bahrain the women stayed and were tortured, In the prison of Bahrain the women are still there and are still tortured and this situation is shameful.

Sana:

My father said : ' God help her, to get out of prison 'All my family was hurt because of my arrest, my father, my mum, my daughter all of them. But I came back home.

Sana:

We have teachers under arrest until today. We have students from schools and universities under arrest and they are hunted by the government police.

We have students from school aged not more than 16 years old who are under arrest for 10 years in jail. For these reasons we stay standing up, in unity with our innocent prisoners. This is a call for all the men of our country to discuss the issue of education.

Ayat:

After that there was a second torture for me. When they put me on the bus to the investigation office, I don't remember it well, but I think there were three or four men and one woman there with me in the bus.

From the time they took me from my home until I arrived at the investigation office, I was threaten with rape, with the very worst words.

Sana:

On the night of my arrest, Ayat was with us on the bus. We were arrested on the same night.

Nada:

Ayat the poet?

Sana:

Yes, Ayat the poet. She was waiting on the bus, she didn't know who they were going to arrest after they'd arrested her, they took so much time on my house. They destroyed all my stuff at home.

Ayat:

They were beating me, from getting on the bus until arriving at the investigation office. I didn't know why they were so happy about my arrest, they were congratulating each other that they had arrested me. They were saying very bad words. It was very hard night.

Poetry Ayat:

Our demand is clear and we will not change our ways, Be careful, in the name of God, if you don't take your clothes and go… You saw how Sadam the lion became a mouse,

The Guy :

Please sister, try to be quick

Poetry Ayat:

Just two other lines.It's possible that you will become like him, Just a minute, personally I don't think it can be, Because I think even as the mouse you are shameful to him.

Sana:

He started to kick me, and strike me as well on my shoulder. When he started beating her like that as well I tried to get away, poor Ayat got beaten badly in the shoulder.

I didn't know where we were going. The only thing that attracted my attention, was a big van for investigation of crime. When I see a car like that these days I become scared like I was on that day.

Poetry Ayat:

Where are you? You, the muslims.

Listen, you the muslims, from the prophet some pearls, when he gave his commandment, But these commandments to you, you were just like the wall as the historians said These commandments are arrested in our Bahrain. A question, are there any men who are ashamed ?

TIME CODE : 10:00 _15:00

A woman to the police man:

OK I'm not filming your face. Do you want your daughters to be assaulted ?

Would you allow a man to touch your daughter ?

This is your honour.

Would you allow this to happen to your honor ?

The police are supposed to serve the people. The police are not here to kill their people.

Nada:

Nazeha can you tell us about the jail experience, the torture, what happened when you were arrested ?

Nazeha:

I had been called to the police station, they kicked me ( the police women ) I was chocked I didn't know this could happen in our police station first, second could happen to a journalist who did her job, third for no reason I have been covering the events as it is, I didn't say anything, even I didn't say my opinion about it, why I am punished I don't know why I was shocked I thought its a nightmare. Actually for all period I stayed there I thought its a nightmare and I was waiting for it to end.

Nazeha:

Some of the question that I have been asked during the mistreatment and the torture I have been exposed to during the detention that why I did say that there is a man killed by arm bullet. Why I did say that police are killing the protesters and when I said its my job, they said but you are ruling Bahrain's reputation and Bahrain's image.

Ayat:

Oh, the father of welfare and patron of justice, As they (who follow the king) say, Sorry I am shaking because of your presence; you the revolutionary people, It is for you, Al Khalifa this letter, you the father of welfare and the patron of justice, You the highness of the nation, You, your Majesty,

Who can give you an excuse?

They died?

But just a few of them, Or may be they were killed by proxy, what do you think ?

Nada:

You reveal my pain, I feel sad. I remember at the time that they arrested you, I was in solitary confinement waiting for interrogation. One of the police-women was so happy and she was waiting to arrest you, and she said, the day that she sees you, she will piss on you.

Poetry Ayat:

Oh Khalifa I am saying to you, the words that all people have said, So go, So go, So go because you are originally from the gutter.

Nada:

Ayat we have in common a person who tortured us. She tortured doctors and I think, she tortured you as well, as I heard? She is from the royal family. Is it possible to tell us about what happened ?

Ayat:

This woman, I didn't know that she was Nour Al Khalifa. During the 8 days of my arrest, they transported me to another building. I didn't know where I was going and what would happen to me. They took me along a stairway and after that into a room. I heard the sounds of men. I didn't know that there was a woman as well. I just heard the sounds of the men and insults and questions, "Why I did write this poetry?" "Who wrote this for you ?" "How much did you get for it ?"

TIME CODE : 15:00_20:00

Ayat:

They insulted me with sectarian curses and very dirty words.

Suddenly a woman turned towards me. I didn't know that it was a woman because she was brutal and her voice was thick. She started beating me strongly in the face. She focused on my face after that I was more surprised when she electrocuted in the face. I didn't know what it was, but I knew after the moment, that it was electrocution. I become blind and I said to her, I can't see anything. And she continued beating me, saying to me that I am lying. At this time, because of the strong slaps my blindfold fell away a bit and I could see her. I saw her. The person in front of me was a woman overweight, with short her, its what I saw.

Nada:

And who is this lady next to me, that woman on the right, she the woman from the royal family, she was the one who tortured me. I know her, I saw her with my own eyes what happened to her. Someone come and say did you complained about it ? Did you try to see the justice ? Yes I did, yes I did, but the public persecutor decided that my case will not make it to court.

Ayat:

On the second day, she came herself to my cell. When she got in I started shaking because she gave the impression that she was a sadistic person who loves to torture. She gets pleasure when she tortures people. She said to me : ' do you know me ? do you remember me ? ' She came to me as a monster and she started slapping me on my face and she was saying :' open your mouth ? I will put the shoes in your mouth..' She continued slapping me. she came to me without balaclava and I was not blindfolded. So I saw her well.

Nazeha:

It wasn't a normal arrest it was shocking experience. I have been there thinking it can be questioning maybe some insults maybe some treats but not the beating and the torture I have been exposed to, not electrocuted, even I have been polled from my hair to the toilet and she put my head inside the toilet because I didn't want to drink something she brought in the bottle on my lips when I was blindfolded and she wanted me to drink it. I said I don't wanted because I don't know what is in the bottle. Some of the police woman there, they said its urine, drink it's urine , so I pushed the bottle with my hands and she get mad, she just get insane. She polled me from my hair and took from my hair and put my head on the toilet and she said drink from here its better.

Sana:

When I got to the office, the police-officer shouted to me. His strong voice makes you feel that the building is shaking.

The first thing he ordered me to do was to stay stuck to the wall without moving. So I knew this person had no education at all, because all of the dirty words that I have never heard in my life and until now didn't know what they meant, I heard in this office.

Nazeha:

It was a kicking and pushing session, than one of the police woman, she was mocking at me, she took my shoes and put it on my mouth and she said keep it there its clean than your tongue because you are lying, so your mouth is full of bad smell, so this shoes its better than you.

TIME CODE : 20:00_25:00

Nazeha:

The situation doesn't allow me to not to obit to what they are saying or what they are asking or what they are ordering.

Ayat:

I forgot to say this point. When I went to the bathroom I saw my face completely damaged, red lines on my face and I started crying, saying to the police-woman there, "look at my face" and she said ' it will be gone with time and say thanks God that this woman didn't kill you because she is from the royal family.' Until today I don't know who this woman is.

Sana:

He said to me if you don't confess…In reality it was no question asked for me the answer or to confess…He said : ' I will shoot you with a small bullet in your head, and quickly you will die. You know that these days people are busy … after that I will put you in the bin…after some days, people will discover you where ? In the bin…'

Nazeha:

The beating just continue and I was blindfolded, I was asked to stand up by the wall, facing wall all the time, all the period I was there almost. I have been exposed to, I was hit by belt on my back, my shoulders, my head, on my feets. I have been polled from my head the all period that I was arrested, they move me only from my hair. They just take me from my hair from anywhere. Slapping all the time, harassment and insulting.

Sana:

The guy who was sleeping on the sofa, woke up and started walking towards me very slowly. I thought, 'He is going to beat me'. So of course the beating would have been better because I was forced to stand against the wall and then he would force his body onto mine. And I couldn't move. I was horrified. It's not until today, that I remember this place and the type of people there. He was really atrocious. The situation was absolutely awful.

Nada question :

Have you reported any cases of women has been sexually harassed ?

Nazeha:

I have been talking to some women. They said, they been raped or sexually harassed. Even one of the nurses who were arrested at the same time I was there in the police station. They harassed her sexually. I cannot say that I saw it because I was blindfolded but I heard it. They have been mocking on her body and touching it.

TIME CODE : 25:00_30:00

Nada:

Do you think that the sexual violation is a way to punish women asking for democracy in our country ?

Ayat:

The sexual torture in the prison is a reality for every one that goes to jail. If someone had been in jail and told you she was not sexually tortured, it would be something very rare. I think people who torture in this way have less honour themselves.

Nazeha:

So they used, I heard as well about another nurse who had been treating her to take her to a room with a men. They did say to do what. She was scared because she will be taken to a room with two men. So she was scared and she said I am going to say whatever you want me to say but don't take me to that room. So its a tool.

Ayat Poetry:

Take your clothes and go away, you Khalifa and your children, The Bahraini Shiites and Sunni and Sunni and Sunni are ordering you to go away.

Nazeha:

I have been called as Iranian journalist all the time. I have been trying to explain that I don't work for Iranian newspaper, they just ignore that. They are very convinced that I was working for Iranian, I don't look like that I am working for Iranian channels, I don't even have a relationship, I don't know how to speak Iranian.

Sana:

Take the phone and call your prophet Mahdi. Call him now to help get you out of here. Me, I am bastard.

Do you see how he talks ?

And God is iver me, from this place you will not get out. You should forget , you will not get out from here.

This is the level of interrogation.

Nazeha:

It was the day of 17of Feb 2011, it was after the attack on the roundabout early morning and then at 7.30 or 8am, I want to go back to check if there is any injures people or there is casualty there. And this man was one of them. I was there next to the roundabout witnessing this demo going, trying to go to the roundabout.

The situation was dangerous even for myself and my life and suddenly I saw police man putting the gun on the man head and blowing it off.

People:

Its a peaceful protest.

Nazeha:

I couldn't get out from my car, I couldn't do anything because the situation was dangerous. I was scared if I get out of my car I am going to be shoot as well. He stayed on the ground for around half an hour than the ambulance came to pick him up. It was with very cold blood.

TIME CODE : 30:00_35:00

Nazeha:

Its the most horrible experience I have been through on my life even the torture was less horrible. I couldn't sleep for a long time after this incident, this seen it still coming now on my head as it happen now, its not easy. I was thinking about his kinds, his family if I am not related to him and I don't know him I am very touched, I don't know how his family got the body and how they did see it.

Ayat:

After nine days, they took me to the office of interrogation with you and with a group of doctors to be filmed, to film these comedies that they ordered.

TV Program:

What will she say in the end?

Ayat:

I regret very much what I did and the words I said against the government, against His Majesty the King, against the premier minister in front of the people. I apologize for what I said and did.

TV Program:

It's finished. Now don't come back to me saying freedom of speech and Ayat… and Ayat… She apologized through this TV Program.

She apologized herself. So let's finish with it. Its finished.

She said it to you, you saw her apologising and she regrets everything.

Can you repeat it?

We just want to finish with this.

Ayat:

During this time, after I finished the filming. The same woman came to me. I was blindfolded but I heard her voice. She came through a door behind me and started beating me the same as before. Then she entered from another door at the front. She ordered me to open my mouth, I didn't want to do it. I was scared that she would cut my tongue. She ordered me again and again, then she took a piece of wood and started beating me on my head until I got dizzy. So I opened my mouth and she spit in my mouth. Then she ordered me to swallow her spit.

Nazeha:

After thirteen hours of torture, police woman came with papers and she just asked me to sign and I signed without even asking her what is this . it's like around 8 pages or something of confession . I don't know what it was written in them.

Nada :

You were not allowed to read the confession ?

Nazeha:

She just came with pen and ink, so I can finger print. I didn't read anything. She just took my finger print and signed, After she took it away.

Basyouni:

The Commission's Investigation approved that a lot of detainees were tortured and suffered other forms of physical and psychological abuses in the prison.

The nature of the physical and psychological abuses are evidence of a deliberate practice to extract confessions and statements from the detainees.

Sana:

The committee of investigation was a good step but it was not secure. This is my point of view, when the government decides to create a committee of investigation it has to be completely serious and truthful. And the government was not serious and not truthful. These are the fact of the discussions during Mr. Basyouni's time.

TIME CODE : 35:00 _40:00

Sana:

Maybe in this case they can ask us why we collaborated with this committee of investigation, its our right to document all the violations we were subjected to, small or large violations, material or moral violations.

Sana:

Because without these documentations we cannot show the NGO's and the other countries in the world what's going on here. The truth cannot be shown without these documentations.

RUSSIA TODAY REPORT:

Security forces who are working for the Ministry of Interior in Bahrain are practicing a lot of violence.

NEW YORK TIME REPORT:

American export in Bahrain tear gas. These weapons are sold by a private American company but the US government approved the deals. Nabel's collection of American weapons grow. America is considering to sell more arms to Bahrain. In Bahrain for the NY TIME.

PRESS TV REPORT:

Day after day the protests march continue to the King offices.

Now the violence protests marching on the King palace , to the King residence, its on the first time in the Golf region.

Sana:

As God said, "We must avoid all arguments."

Nobody will believe us if we don't have documentation, if we don't talk about what happened to us. We communicated with these committees and we documented everything. We were not pessimistic, saying to our self, that the result wouldn't be in the interest of the people. So at the end what happened was that they had no credibility.

People:

Down Hamad ! Down Hamad!

Sana:

During the work of the committee of investigation, the violation continued, and with the committee of investigation the number of martyrs increased, and with the committee of investigation the villages drowned in tear gas every night. This tear gas is a poison that destroys the bodies of the people in these villages every day. Of course, there's no result.

Ayat:

There is no solution for the realty of the problems, with Basyouni and after Basyouni nothing happened. What happened after Basyouni was some injured people and some martyrs that's it. The government doesn't follow any advice from Basyouni's committee of investigation. The dialogue happened and it will happen again and we are ready for it, and to find a solution. But the government don't want to take any solution seriously.

Basyouni:

The evidence presented to the commission in concern of the Islamic Republic of Iran, doesn't attest any involvement of Iran to interior events in Bahrain.

Sana:

They have convinced themselves (the government) that the Bahraini revolution is supported by Iran. And for them it’s a horror. In my point of view, it makes us laugh. Because if Iran wants to be involved, it can be and Iran has made statements several times. If Iran wants to be involved in the Bahraini revolution, we won’t take it lying down. But the reason that other countries ignore this revolution is because they think it's just about sectarianism.

The King's Speech:

The government of Bahrain cannot at this time provide any evidence about Iranian involvement in our interior events.

Nada:

Why do you think the Bahraini revolution was ignored in the media around the world ? Do you think that Britain and the US have a role in this media blackout ?

Ayat:

Of course, because these countries have vested interests in our government, so they have caused a media blackout when it comes to talking about our uprising.

Sana:

In Bahrain the majority is Shiite, in our revolution we are Shiite and Sunni, not just Shiite.

TIME CODE :40:00 _48:04

Sana:

The government of Bahrain and others think that our brothers the Sunni are complicit with the Shiite to overturn the government. It was what they accused us of doing when they arrested us during the time of the 'Peaceful Nation'.

The King's Speech:

The media attack from Iran, is a fact that can be noticed by any-one who understands the arabic language, it’s a challenge not just for our sovereignty but also a threat to the security of the GCC countries.

Sana:

I was on my way to the Pearl area, I took the bridge road, it was full of soldiers in convoy, I was approximately the second car. I was surprised about the numbers of army vehicles and that the highway was closed. So I got out of my car because on the other side of the street were people standing up and applauding.

I was intrigued, one police man told me to go back to my car, so I asked him, 'Is it soldiers for the people who are protesting in the Pearl area?' he said to me, 'No you misunderstand' I said to him 'I am going there now, but these soldiers are they going to repress people in the Pearl area?' He answered me saying that they were on an official training mission and afterwards they should come back.

When I arrived in the Pearl area I heard from people that the BahrainyTV were broadcasting that the army of GCC came to protect the country. They wanted to protect the country from who? Until today, there have been no weapons because it is a peaceful revolution and all these acts performed by the government, they're just Plays from their imagination.

The involvement of the army of GCC in Bahrain is a political failure. The government of Bahrain failed politically and couldn't stop the revolution. So they used the army of GCC.

The army is still here today. You can see as well how they are torturing us, it's completely different now because of the army of GCC.

Saudy army speech:

Peace be upon you, the Mercy of Allah and His Blessing My majesty and you the leaders on different levels, Peace be upon you, the Mercy of Allah and His Blessing.

In our dearest Bahrain, a place of love and friendship, a place of modernity and vitality, the land of peace and safety, the beach of pearls and corals.

We met each other in fraternity and co-operation, how not? And we are the sons of the Gulf Co-operation Council. We came and we found you as before, a good people of tolerance and generosity.

You are always in our eyes. From Al Jahra to Sahel Amam, you called us, we answered you.

We are cousins and brothers, Our Gulf Co-operation Council is for the right and we don't care about the lies.

Nada:

Ayat how do you understand the involvement of the Saudi army after the uprising of Feb/March 2011?

Ayat”

We don't have any problem with anyone. Our problem is with our government that's it. We don't care about the neighbors, or Saudi or any other country. Our only problem is with our government.

Sana:

In 2011 they destroyed the pearl square in Manama. In 2013 they tore out the pearl of the boy Ahmed Naham.

The boy:

The police were using weapons and shot me.

Sana:

Do you know why? You must teach your children your tale that it was here; one pearl. And today you are all of you pearls and inside of the heart of every Bahraini citizen is the history of the pearl.

As God said "The unjust know how their end will come."

Sana:

Today in Bahrain we still haven't succeeded politically. Maybe we succeeded in a way because we are still standing up, even the ones who were prisoners, you and me, we are an example. But I think we could succeed in having unity between people in our society. Before it wasn't really like that, today people are more close to each other and this is a big success.

Nada with her daughters :

I am doing some reports about women and its really important, its for your country, you don't love your country honey ?

Don't you love Bahrain ?

Daughter:

Mummy you love Bahrain more than us.

Nada

Honey don't say that come on. hey girl. Of course I love, OK I am coming with you.

   

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