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Doctor speaks out to reveal brutality in regime prisons


One of the doctors sentenced by Bahraini authorities for supporting pro-democracy protests spoke in detail yesterday of her ordeal while in detention. Dr Fatima Haji was sentenced to five years in prison before yesterday's announcement that a retrial would take place.

She said she was taken away on the night of 17 April this year, while she was at home with her son.

"Almost 25 men or more came in my apartment. They were wearing civilian clothes but carrying guns and covering their face with black ski masks."

She was then taken from her home to a police station, where she was subjected to beatings and abuse for days before being forced to confess to crimes she did not commit. "I was kept in a corridor. They made me stand facing a wall, blindfolded," she added.

"I heard sound of the woman coming towards me. She handcuffed me, putting my hands at my back. Then she started slapping me using both hands. She did it for almost 15 minutes, beating me on both sides of my face. I started to bleed and I was tasting blood in my mouth; I felt my head was numb and heavy.

"At the same time she electrocuted me maybe one or two times. I felt like a shockwave in my head and it was very painful. I felt the whole world is spinning. Later I heard the sound of more than three men coming to me. They started asking me the size of my underwear, and the size of my bra. He kept asking me and I am not answering and he was hitting my head.

"Then I heard another voice telling them to stop and he whispered: 'Do you want me to make them stop molesting you?' I said, 'Yes'. He asked me if I was ready to confess everything. I said 'Yes'.

"It's true I can't have evidence of torture physically now or the emotional damage, but my God is witness to all that happened."