"The persistent fear of living in hiding"

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March 2012: Bahrain police arrest a young man following a funeral procession (Source AP)

Chloe Kems (a pseudonym) writes for Middle East Voices on the "lost boys" of Bahrain - the young men who find themselves living in hiding from the authorities:
Mahmood has not slept at home in eight months. His younger brother has not slept there in a year. But armed riot police continue to raid their family home monthly, breaking down bedroom doors searching for them.
(...)

The exact crime associated with each “wanted” case is nebulous at best. The mass cases that police produce utilize what human rights lawyers in Bahrain call “copy and paste” evidence: the crime and evidence listed after each suspect in a case file is identical to hundreds of other concurrent Bahraini cases.
Most families only learn that their son or sons are wanted the first time their home is raided. According to human rights lawyer Mohammed al-Tajer, house raids often serve as a substitute for a subpoena. But after every round of nightly clashes, the parents of participants expect the worst. Lawyer Manar al-Maki says no less than five families per day come to their office asking if their son is “wanted” by the government.
Police generate group cases – which soon turn into “wanted” lists – in a number of ways. After a night of either violent clashes or a peaceful march, village protesters scatter quickly. If police are lucky, they will manage to catch one young man. He is then detained and often tortured until he provides the names of other “terrorists” from his village.
If the detainee refuses to speak, al-Maki says that police will generate a list of his brothers, cousins, friends, and other young men from his village. The officer building the case then presents this list to the public prosecutor asking for permission to arrest; in one recent case in Bani Jamra, west of the capital, Manama, the generated list of family and acquaintances contained over thirty names. Each young man whose name is written on such a list is now officially “wanted.” Then, often without court permission, the raids begin.
 Read full article.

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