Torture allegations against Bahraini Attorney General: Ireland rejects criminal complaint, Switzerland conducts investigations

Electric shocks, beatings on the soles of the feet, stress positions during incommunicado detention: those who allow this type of torture can and must be held criminally liable – even abroad. On 13 September 2016 Bahrain-born British citizen Jaafar Al-Hasabi submitted a criminal complaint to the District Court in Dublin (Ireland) against Bahraini Attorney General Ali Bin Fadhul Al-Buainain concerning the Attorney General’s role in the torture.
The Court refused to allow the private prosecution, but investigations are ongoing after a separate complaint was lodged with the Irish police. The case was brought in Dublin was while Al-Buainain was due to attend the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) annual conference held in Dublin from 11 to 16 September.

Press release: Prosecution of Bahrain Attorney General sought in Irish torture complaint (Sep. 2016)

PR_Ireland_Bahrain_Torture_UJ_20160913.pdf (142.1 KiB)

Irelands dismissal of Bahrain case raises questions on commitment to implementing UN Convention against Torture

“The court's decision casts doubt on Ireland’s commitment to implementing the UN Convention against Torture. Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, no state should offer safe haven to those complicit in grave crimes abroad,” said Wolfgang Kaleck, General Secretary of ECCHR.

ECCHR supports tortured Bahrain-born British citizen Al-Hasabi in his struggle for justice

ECCHR in Berlin is supporting Al-Hasabi, coordinating the legal steps and analyzing the responsibility of senior officials for severe human rights violations in Bahrain. This work is done in cooperation with London based organizations, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and REDRESS as well as GLAN (Global Legal Action Network) in Ireland and TRIAL International in Geneva.
In September 2015 Al-Hasabi submitted a criminal complaint to the prosecuting authorities in Berne (Switzerland). During that time Al-Buainain was attending the annual IAP conference in Switzerland, where he was elected vice president of the organization.

Investigations in Schwitzerland against Bahraini Attorney General Al-Buainain

Al-Hasabi, who now lives in London, was detained and tortured in Bahrain in 2010. Despite the United Nations' expressed concerns as to his incommunicado detention and risk of torture, the Bahraini Attorney General authorized and prolonged his detention.The Swiss prosecutor decided not to summon the Attorney General for questioning while he was in the country, but did launch an investigation after confirming there was sufficient evidence to open proceedings. In June 2016 Al-Hasabi was heard as a witness.
The NGOs call on the Irish and Swiss authorities not to hide behind diplomatic, political or economic justifications and on the Berne prosecutor to open an investigation in this case, in compliance with their obligations under the UN Convention against Torture.

Press release: Criminal complaint filed in Switzerland against Bahraini Attorney General (Sep. 2015)

PR_Switzerland_Bahrain_ECCHR_BIRD_TRIAL_REDRESS_eng_20150915.pdf (187.4 KiB)


  • Bahrain
  • CAT
  • Impunity
  • Switzerland
  • Torture
  • Universal Jurisdiction