Judge won’t summons Bahrain official

A judge has refused to issue a summons to force the Bahraini attorney general, who is in Ireland this week, to appear in a court in Dublin on charges of aiding and abetting torture.

Judge Grainne O’Neill heard an application by IT professional Jaafar Al-Husabi who is from Bahrain but now a UK national living in London. He said he was tortured in a Bahrain detention centre and he has amassed evidence which he claims proves his country’s attorney general knew it was going on.

He swore information and produced documents in a bid to convince the judge to issue a summons compelling the Bahraini attorney general Ali Bin Fadhul Al Buainain to appear before Dublin District Court.

Ali Bin Fadhul Al Buainain, who has been Bahrain’s attorney general since 2005, is in Dublin attending the International Association of Prosecutors conference which ends tomorrow. He is also the vice president, the court heard.

The complainant’s barrister Giollaiosa Ó Lideadha SC, instructed by solicitor Michael Finucane, said there was enough material to establish Bahrain’s chief prosecutor knew the torture of detainees was being carried out with impunity.

Mr Al-Husabi applied to the court to issue the summons under sections 2 and 3 of the Criminal Justice (UN Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1997.

Mr Al-Husabi who is an activist involved in demonstrations against the Bahraini government, swore information in court. He confirmed he returned to Bahrain in 2010. He alleged between August 16 that year and February 23, 2011, the Bahraini attorney general authorised the extension of his detention during a period when he was tortured by members of the Bahraini National Security Authorities. This included administration of electric shocks, physical beatings and sleep deprivation.

He alleged the attorney general authorised the extension of his detention at a facility known as “The Fort” and was aware torture was routine at the facility.

The court heard that on August 20, 2010 a number of UN rapporteurs sent an urgent appeal to the Bahrain government expressing concerns for the physical and psychological integrity of the complainant and other persons who were held incommunicado on charges of alleged participation in a terrorist network.

Judge O’Neill heard in September and October 2010 the Bahraini attorney general issued public statements in which he stated that certain individuals including Mr Al-Husabi had not been tortured.

In 2011, the Bahraini government established the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry to probe allegations of torture.

The court heard the inquiry found torture was systemic and was carried out with impunity.

Mr Al-Husabi alleged that as attorney general and public prosecutor of Bahrain, Ali Bin Fadhul Al Buainain was responsible for overseeing “The Fort” detention facility.

The judge was furnished with a medical report stating Mr Al-Husabi’s injuries were consistent with his claims he had been tortured.

Denying the request, Judge O’Neill said she was not satisfied there was a sufficient nexus between the proposed accused and the offences complained of by Mr Al-Husabi.


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