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Bahrein: Woman human rights defender arrested, at risk of torture

Wednesday 5 July 2017, by siawi3

Source: Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition

July 4 2017

Bahraini WHRD Ebtisam AlSayegh was just arrested by armed masked men and three policewomen who raided her home. There were five civilian cars and a minibus, she has been taken to an unknown location. They said they are from the CID.

Below are documents with the background details on her case. Given what happened during her last interrogation session, we are concerned that she is at high risk of torture since she refused to stop speaking out despite threats.

Source: Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain

9 June 2017

H.E. JoaquiÌ n Alexander Maza Martelli
President of the United Nations Human Rights Council HRC Secretariat
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva
CC: HRC Secretariat

Mr. President,
It is with great regret that we write to your office to update you further on cases of reprisals against human rights defenders in relationship to their engagement with the Human Rights Council (HRC). This communication specifically relates to acts of reprisal against Ms. Ebtesam Abdulhusain Ali Alsaegh (alt. Ebtisam al-Saegh), a human rights defender from the Kingdom of Bahrain. As you may recall from previous communications, Ms. al-Saegh was the subject of a previous complaint raised to your office during the 34th Session of the HRC in March of this year. Unfortunately, Ms. al-Saegh has continued to face acts of reprisal after returning to Bahrain in relation to her participation in the March session.
After returning to Bahrain following the 34th Session of the Council, Ms. al-Saegh was the target of a slander campaign against her in state-sponsored media outlets. On 12 May, the government- backed newspaper Al Ayam ran a front-page story accusing al-Saegh of fabricating the documentation of human rights violations in the country. While these such accusations may seem superficial, reporting false news which undermines the reputation and prestige of the state is a serious criminal offense in Bahrain, and one which is frequently used to target human rights defenders.
Then, on 15 May, Ms. al-Saegh awoke in the early hours of the morning and found that her car was engulfed in flames as it was parked outside her house. The fire incinerated her vehicle. Bahrain Ministry of Interior investigators concluded that the car fire was the result of an “electrical short circuit.†While an electrical fires do occur, the fire the incinerated Ms. al-Saegh’s vehicle was highly suspicious. This fire took place within two weeks of two other fires that incinerated the vehicles of the Deputy Secretary General of Bahrain’s (now dissolved) largest political opposition society, and of the Secretary General of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions. These other car fires were also ruled to be the result of electrical short circuits.
On 25 May, Ms. al-Saegh was ordered to appear for interrogation at a National Security Agency facility in Muharraq, Bahrain. In detention, Bahraini authorities held Ms. al-Saegh incommunicado, and her attorney was not allowed to accompany her to her interrogation, contrary to Bahraini law. The officials at the Muharraq facility subjected Ms. al-Saegh to severe physical and psychological torture. They beat her; stripped her of her clothing down to her undergarments; sexually assaulted her; photographed her in her state of undress; threatened to disseminate
photographs of her if she angered the government in the future; threatened to kill her by sabotaging her vehicle and making her death look like an automobile accident; and threatened to kill her son. During her interrogation, the NSA officers questioned Ms. al-Saegh about the activities of Bahraini human rights activists and organizations during the kingdom’s recent Universal Periodic Review which took place in May. Ms. al-Saegh also reports that she was directly questioned about her engagement in the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council in March, 2017. She reports that the authorities questioned her relating to whom she met with in Geneva, with which organizations she cooperated during the session, and interrogated her regarding plans international organizations have regarding Bahrain in the future.
Her interrogators also specifically mentioned the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which they referred to in abusive and vulgar terms, when questioning Ms. Alsaegh about her collaboration with international human rights institutions. They also told her, “There is no organization in the world that can save you.... We will target [civil-society activists] one by one.”
Following Ms. al-Saegh’s release from her interrogation, she was immediately hospitalized. Ms. al-Saegh showed swelling in her head and upper body corresponding to the beatings she reported. Ms. al-Saegh also suffered a nervous breakdown following her release, and did not speak for three days. Even now, Ms. al-Saegh continues to suffer from prolonged effects of her psychological torture during her interrogation.
Mr. President, such acts of reprisals against individuals for their participation in the Human Rights Council, and cooperation with its mechanisms is wholly unacceptable. Indeed, the Government of Bahrain has been the subject of escalating reports of reprisals against civil society over a the past several years, with Ms. al-Saegh’s case being only the most recent, and most extreme.
We therefore call on you to take seriously this reprisal against Ms. Ebtisam al-Saegh, and to publically, and urgently raise this case before the Council. We further urge you to identify this case as in the context of the continuing and rising trend of reprisals against Bahraini civil society activists attempting to take part in this Council. We hope that your office will seize the opportunity to address these issues afforded during the Item 5 General debate, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, 16 June. Only though addressing these issues publicly, and on the record, do victims like Ebtisam feel that the Council stands up for civil society under threat, and that there is some hope that reprisals such as these will not happen to future defenders.
We stand ready to provide your office with supplemental documentation in regard to this, and other cases. We would also appreciate a meeting with your office to discuss further action in addressing the reprisals against Ms. al-Saegh.
Husain Abdulla,
Executive Director,
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain


[The information below was sent in an email on 31 May 2017 to the same mandates receiving the original communication the day before.]

This update provides supplementary information on the communication submitted on 30 May by Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) on the persecution of Bahraini human rights worker Ebtesam Alsaegh. On 31 May we received written testimony from Ms. Alsaegh which contains several previously unmentioned details on her case.

ï‚· On 22 January 2017, and again on 21 March 2017 after she had returned to Bahrain from the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Ms. Alsaegh was called in for interrogation by the National Security Agency. She was told to cease pursuing her human rights work and warned menacingly that “the next interrogation will be different” if she did not obey.
ï‚· To clarify, Ms. Alsaegh was summoned to the most recent interrogation on the night of 25/26 May. ADHRB received the news that she had been summoned at 1:51 p.m. PDT on 25 May, which would be just before midnight in Bahrain. It seems that Ms. Alsaegh did not actually enter the Muharraq facility until after midnight on 26 May. (We had stated in yesterday’s communication that her detention began on 25 May.)
ï‚· The interrogators specifically mentioned OHCHR, which they referred to in abusive and vulgar terms, when questioning Ms. Alsaegh about her collaboration with international human rights institutions. They also told her, “There is no organization in the world that can save you.... We will target [civil-society activists] one by one.”
ï‚· The interrogation also focused on Ms. Alsaegh’s participation in a February conference in Beirut related to the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process; her posts on Twitter; her visits in the course of her human rights work to families of detainees, torture victims, and the deceased; and her relationships with local and international human rights organizations and workers, many of whom were named by the interrogators.
ï‚· The interrogators asked Ms. Alsaegh what kind of car she is using now, in an apparently menacing reference to the recent destruction of her car in a highly suspicious fire.
ï‚· Ms. Alsaegh was blindfolded and forced to stand throughout the seven-hour interrogation.
ï‚· Ms. Alsaegh was punched and cuffed in the head and kicked on other parts of her body. Doctors at the hospital which she attended immediately after her release noted that her head
was swollen.
ï‚· Ms. Alsaegh was deliberately humiliated on a sectarian basis. The interrogators referred to
her Shia faith with abusive epithets, demanded she refer to civilians killed in Bahrain (who are mostly Shia) as “terrorists,” and forced her to sing the Bahraini royal anthem (which of course celebrates the Sunni ruling family).
ï‚· Ms. Alsaegh was not stripped completely naked but was stripped down to her underwear. This was not made clear in yesterday’s submission.
ï‚· The interrogators grabbed Ms. Alsaegh’s breasts, forced their fingers into her vagina, and threatened to rape her.
ï‚· All members of Ms. Alsaegh’s immediate family were threatened. The interrogators presented her with pictures of her children in public places they frequented. They told her they were capable of having one of her children killed in a car crash and making it look like an accident, or of fabricating criminal cases against her children.
ï‚· All of the above threats (rape, murder or persecution of her children) were linked to the demand that Ms. Alsaegh cease pursuing her human rights work.


30 May 2017

Urgent Communication to Select Special-Procedures Offices of the UN Human Rights Council

Attn: Dr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders; Mr.
Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; and
Ms. Annalisa Ciampi, Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) submits this urgent communication on behalf of the Bahraini human rights defender Ms. Ebtesam Abdulhusain Ali Alsaegh, national ID no. 690033990, passport no. 2139679, born 1 January 1969.1 This communication details Ms. Alsaegh’s arbitrary detention and torture following our communication of 15 May 2017 on harassment and intimidation of Ms. Alsaegh imputable to Bahraini authorities. Ms. Alsaegh was included in a previous communication by special-procedures offices in 2016.2 ADHRB requests that the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention consider this case for issuance of a formal opinion determining that Ms. Alsaegh’s detention was arbitrary and thus unlawful.
1. On 25 May 2007, two days after the mass arrests in Duraz, Ms. Alsaegh was ordered to appear for interrogation at the government detention facility in Muharraq. This facility is publicly held out to be a Criminal Investigations Directorate (Arabic: al-idaÌ„rah al-‘aÌ„mmah lit-tahÌ£qiÌ„qaÌ„t wal-mabaÌ„hÌ£ith al-jinā’iÌ„yah), but in fact houses officers of the National Security Agency (jihaÌ„z al-amn al-watÌ£aniÌ„), which has recently been legally re-empowered to act as a political police force.3
2. In detention, Bahraini authorities held Ms. Alsaegh incommunicado. Her husband attempted to reach her at Muharraq, but the officials there refused to allow him to see her or speak to her. Though she was accompanied to the facility by her attorney, the latter was not allowed to be present during her interrogation.
.ابتسام عبدالحسين علي الصائغ :English transliteration of name and biodata taken from passport. Arabic 1
2 Joint Allegation Letter by the Special Rapporteurs on the freedoms of expression and association and on human rights defenders dated 8 July 2016, ref. no. BHR 4/2016 (available online; accessed May 2017).
3 See MarsuÌ„m raqm (1) li-sanat 2017 bi- ta‘diÌ„l ba‘dÌ£ ahÌ£kaÌ„m al-marsuÌ„m raqm (14) li-sanat 2002 bi-inshā’ jihaÌ„z al-amn al- watÌ£aniÌ„ [Decree No. 1 of 2017 Amending Some Provisions of Decree No. 14 of 2002 Establishing the National Security Agency], issued 2 January 2017, p. 7 in al-JariÌ„dah ar-rasmiÌ„yah [Official Gazette, published by the Bahraini Ministry of Information Affairs], vol. 70, no. 3295, 5 January 2017, Art. 1. The new text of the NSA law, as amended by this decree, authorizes Agency personnel to act as “officers of the law†(Arabic: ma’muÌ„riÌ„ adÌ£-dÌ£abtÌ£ al-qadÌ£ā’iÌ„), which encompasses powers of arrest, “with respect to terrorist crimes†(translated from Arabic). Terrorism is defined in Bahraini law to encompass opposition political activity, e.g., acts “damaging national unity.†See QaÌ„nuÌ„n raqm (58) li- sanat 2006 bi-sha’n hÌ£imaÌ„yat al-mujtama‘ min al-a‘maÌ„l al-irhaÌ„biÌ„yah [Law No. 58 of 2006 on the Protection of Society from Terrorist Acts], issued 12 August 2006, pp. 35–42 in al-JariÌ„dah ar-rasmiÌ„yah, vol. 59, no. 2752, 16 August 2006, Art. 1, ¶ 2, at p. 35.
Sètondji Adjovi, Ms. Leigh Toomey, Mr.
JoseÌ Guevara, Mr. Seong-Phil Hong, and
Ms. Elina Steinerte, members of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention;

3. The officials at the Muharraq facility subjected Ms. Alsaegh to severe physical and mental abuse, rising to the level of torture. They beat her; stripped her of her clothing; sexually assaulted her by forcibly grabbing and handling her; photographed her naked; threatened to disseminate nude photographs of her if she angered the government in the future; threatened to kill her by sabotaging her vehicle and making her death look like an automobile accident; and threatened to kill her son. It is noteworthy in this connection that, as noted in paragraph 3 of our previous submission on Ms. Alsaegh, her car was recently destroyed by fire under highly suspicious circumstances. The government publicly issued claimed that the incident was caused by an electrical malfunction, despite the fact that the car was completely destroyed, with photographs showing flames burning the ground underneath the chassis.
4. Interrogators questioned Ms. Alsaegh about the activities of Bahraini human rights activists and organizations during the recent Universal Periodic Review session for Bahrain in the Human Rights Council (held during the week of 1–5 May this year). Ms. Alsaegh had been scheduled to attend the session, but authorities prevented her departure from Bahrain, telling her she was under a travel ban (as noted in ¶ 2 of ADHRB’s previous submission on Ms. Alsaegh). Interrogators also demanded she tell them the future plans of local and internationally active human rights organizations with respect to Bahrain.
5. Ms. Alsaegh was released in the evening the following day, 26 May. Given the presence of the National Security Agency in the Muharraq facility, which Ms. Alsaegh herself had previously documented, the Agency is the presumptive author of her detention and torture.
6. Ms. Alsaegh is suffering severe psychological repercussions from her ordeal in detention. She went to the hospital in a state of psychological shock immediately after her release from detention and refused to speak to anyone outside her immediate family for several days due to psychological traumatization.
7. Several other activists have been detained and interrogated since the events of 23 May in Duraz. As noted in paragraph 4 of the ADRHB communication of that date addressed to most of the mandates included herein (less the Special Rapporteur on torture and with the addition of the Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial executions and religious and cultural rights), and in an email update the following day (24 May), the activist Adil al-Marzuq was detained for less than 24 hours at the Muharraq facility. Though released )عادل المرزوق( by the following day, in the face of the threats and intimidation he was subjected to under detention, al-Marzuq has since resigned from his position on the Central Committee of the Bahraini civil-society organization (Arabic: jam‘iÌ„yah), the Unitary National Democratic Assemblage (at-tajammu‘ al-watÌ£aniÌ„ ad-diÌ„muqraÌ„tiÌ„ al-wahÌ£dawiÌ„, known as WahÌ£dawiÌ„ for short). In addition, the social-media activist Hassan ash-Shariqi (حسن الشارقي) was detained and threatened, leading him to announce publicly that he would no longer be active on Twitter.4 Authorities also brought in Khalil Yusuf (خليل يوس٠) of the Bahrain Human Rights Society for interrogation. As of this writing it is not yet clear if this intimidation will affect Yusuf’s human rights work.
4 Post on Hassan ash-Shariqi’s Twitter account, 28 May 2017, both at 5:42 a.m. PDT, reading in relevant part: “My dears, I will no longer be Tweeting due to personal reasons. I ask your pardon†(translated from Arabic).

8. The abuses inflicted on Ms. Alsaegh rise to the level of torture, as “act[s] by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted,†5 in violation of the Convention Against Torture and of Articles 7 (prohibition of torture) and 10.1 (guarantee of humane treatment of detainees) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.6 The particular nature of the sexual threats and intimidation directed against Ms. Alsaegh violates Article 17 (right to privacy and respect for honor and reputation) of the Covenant.7 The pattern of intimidation and persecution of all activists noted in this communication is in violation of Covenant Articles 19.2 (freedom of expression), 21.1 (freedom of association), and 25(a) (right to take part in public affairs).8 Bahrain has acceded to both treaties without relevant reservation.9
9. The facts reviewed above (¶¶ 1–5, esp. ¶ 4) demonstrate clearly that Ms. Alsaegh is being targeted and persecuted for her work on behalf of human rights in Bahrain. This is of particular concern to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights given Ms. Alsaegh’s past contributions to UN human rights procedures (see ¶¶ 1, 2 of ADHRB’s previous submission on her behalf), and Bahrain’s patent intent to interfere with the work contributing to OHCHR human rights monitoring in Bahrain. The intercession of the addressed mandates is urgently implored on behalf of Ms. Alsaegh and all other human rights workers and political activists targeted in Bahrain.
Preparation of This Communication, Publication of the Information Herein, and Future Correspondence in This Matter
This communication was prepared on behalf of the victims by Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) based on their/their families’ consent and information they or their families supplied. Ms. Alsaegh’s date of birth and national ID and passport numbers may be disclosed to Bahraini authorities in advocating for her human rights, but should not be published out of privacy concerns. The role of the victims and their families in providing information to ADHRB must not be disclosed due to the strong possibility of reprisals. All other information herein, including the names of Ms. Alsaegh and the other victims, may be both published and used in raising their cases before Bahraini authorities. This document was drafted by Devin Kenney, a legal fellow at ADHRB, who should serve as the point of contact for correspondence, at dkenney or 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 205, Washington, D.C. 20036, phone no. + 1 202-621-6141 ext. 107.
5 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), text adopted 10 December 1984, pp. 113–22 in United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 1465 (1987) (New York: United Nations, 1996), Art. 1.1 at p. 113.
6 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), text adopted 16 December 1966, pp. 171–86 in United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 999 (1976) (New York: United Nations, 1983), at pp. 175, 176.
7 Ibid., p. 177.
8 Ibid., pp. 177, 178, 179.
9 CAT accession of 6 March 1998 in idem, vol. 2007 (1998) (New York: United Nations, 2001), treaty no. 24841, p. 517; ICCPR accession of 20 September 2006 in idem, vol. 2386 (2006) (New York: United Nations, 2010), treaty no. 14668, p. 288.


A Testimony from Human Rights Defender and Victim of Torture Ebtisam Al Sayegh

Background information:
Ebtisam Al Sayegh (48 years old, Bahraini national) is a woman human rights defender and is member of documentation and monitoring team at SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights. Al Sayegh has been subject to harassment by the Bahrain authorities in several occasions. These harassments came in order to revenge the activities she carries in her human rights work.
She was investigated by the National Security Service on the 22nd of January 2017 and on the 21st of March 2017 after returning from an advocacy mission at the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva. The National Security Service threatened her in order to terminate her human rights activities or else “next investigations will be different†as in harsher manner.
It is worth mentioning that Al Sayegh’s car got burnt few weeks ago for unknown reasons. Activists and herself still believe it was caused by the authorities in Bahrain in order to frighten her.
Current Event:
The most recent was that of Friday, May 26, 2017 where Ebtisam Al Sayegh was summoned for Investigation in the National Security Service, “the security complex†, “third floor†in Muharraq Police Station. There were 4 personnel and the door was closed electronically via PIN code after she entered the interrogation room.
Inside the room, there were two men in plain clothes and two women wearing large black sunglasses covering a wide area of their faces. The first man was of average height and the second was tall and of wide body structure.
The investigation revolved around her work in human rights in general and monitoring and documentation of violations in Duraz and other areas. The investigation also focused on her advocacy work in Geneva and the Human Rights Council, and they specifically referred to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, where they insulted and cursed the OHCHR office.
Al Sayegh was blindfolded during the investigation lasted about seven hours and throughout the investigation she was standing and was not allowed to sit.
The investigation indeed focused on her role as member in SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights where its president, Jawad Fairooz got insulted and cursed.
A UPR-related conference that was held in February of this year in Beirut and organized by Bahrain Human Rights Forum was mentioned in this investigation. Al Sayegh had attended and participated in this conference along with many workers in the human rights field in international organizations. The investigation revolved around the funding source for this event and all its participants. Al Sayegh was clear about the event being human-rights-related, with a wide participation of international organization. She stated “the event was live broadcasted and you can easily refer to it, as it is a transparent event with no hidden agenda†.
The investigation focused on the activities in which she participates in Bahrain, her tweets on social network Twitter and her solidarity visits with the families of political detainees, victims of torture and victims of extrajudicial killings.
The name and activities of some activists were investigated during this time with Al Sayegh. Some of these names are: Fatima Al-Halwachi, Sheikh Maytham Al Salman, Asma Darwish, Brian Dooley of Human Rights First, Radhi Al Qatari, Jalil Yousif, Said Yousif Al Muhafda, Ahmed Al Saffar, Enas Oun, Hussain Jawad Parweez and the activities of Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR).
They have referred to the case of her car burn, without referring to their stands behind it. But they have asked her of the car brand she uses now in an attempt to frighten her.

Al Sayegh was beaten mainly on the head by hand and she was beaten and punched on other parts of her body by the shoes. Doctors affirmed her head was swollen after she went to the hospital when released.
Al Sayegh was subjected to sectarian insult, and verbal abuse. She was forced to denigrate national and religious symbols and to describe them as terrorists. She was forced to describe those killed in Bahrain as terrorists and she was forced to chant the Bahraini royal anthem. She was severely beaten and punched on the head and different parts of the body whenever she used human rights terms to relate to her work. They told her that “there is no organization in the world that can save you or save the activists and we will target one by one†.
Sexual harassment:
Al Sayegh was subjected to harassment by the interrogator and his police assistant who was holding her hand from the back. Her trouser was completely removed by them and she remained only in her underwear. Then she was subjected to verbal and sexual absue by touching her sensitive areas by their fingers and pressing them inside her. They also grabbed her breasts in a sexual manner to intimidate her. She was threatened to be completely raped if she considers continuing her human rights work.
Al Sayegh was threatened they would target her family members, her husband, her sons and daughters. They showed her photos of her children in places they frequently visited. They said that they could fabricate a car accident for one of her children where he could endure severe injuries or killed “no one would ever find our it was us!â€
They also threatened her of brining criminal cases against her children in case she did not stop her work in human rights.
She was asked to officially resign from SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights using Twitter or else all the above mentioned threats will be happening.
When Al Sayegh got released, she was in shock and endured a nervous breakdown where she directly sought medical care in a private hospital. She is still incapable of resuming her work and is in constant fear.



Bahrain: Woman human rights defender at high risk of torture, including sexual assault
4 July 2017, 17:11 UTC

When she was arrested in May 2017, she was beaten and sexually assaulted by members of the Bahraini National Security Agency.
Samah Hadid, Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International in the Middle-East

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In response to news about the arrest of human rights defender Ebtisam al-Saegh by the Bahraini authorities on the night of 3 July 2017 Samah Hadid, Director for Campaigns at Amnesty International in the Middle-East said:

“The Bahraini authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Ebtisam al-Saegh whose only crime is speaking up against a government committed to crushing all forms of dissent.â€

“We are deeply concerned about Ebtisam’s wellbeing. When she was arrested in May 2017, she was beaten and sexually assaulted by members of the Bahraini National Security Agency. Bahraini authorities have failed to investigate those claims and we fear that she is at high risk of torture as long as she remains in custody.â€


Ebtisam al-Saegh is a prominent human rights defender from Bahrain. She was arrested at 23:45 on 3 July 2017, after her house was raided by masked officers in civilian clothing carrying body and head cameras. Around twenty-five officers claiming to belong to the CID (Criminal Investigation Directorate) arrived at her house in five civilian cars and a mini bus.

Three armed men stayed outside the house while seven officers, including two female officers dressed in Abaya and Niqab, entered the home.

No warrant was presented for the arrest of Ebtissam al-Saegh. When she asked about the reason for her arrest and where she was being taken they replied: you don’t need to talk, you will know as soon as you reach there†.

Officers confiscated her mobile phones and her national ID card. The two female officers placed Ebtisam al-Saegh in handcuffs and led her away.

Amnesty international received information that Ebtisam al-Saegh was seen at the Issa Town detention centre for women,on the outskirts of Manama the capital, in the early hours of 04 July 2017, but was later transferred to an undisclosed place

On 3 July Ebtisam al-Saegh had been tweeting about the ill treatment of women at the hands of the National Security Agency (NSA) and held the King of Bahrain responsible for their actions

In May 2017 Amnesty International documented the arrest, torture, including sexual assault, of Ebtisam al-Saegh at the NSA.