Bahrain rejects Al Jazeera story on death

Report citing autopsy which concluded that a 23-year-old was tortured before drowning, dismissed as “outrageous claim”.

Yousef Mowali outside
Yousef Mowali was being treated for schizophrenia at the time of his death [Photos courtesy of family]

Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority has issued a letter strongly objecting to an article published on Al Jazeera English’s website citing a forensic report that concluded a Bahraini man was electrically tortured before his drowning in January.

Click on the image for the full rejoinder from Bahrain government

Accusing Al Jazeera English of carrying a series of “biased articles, often acquired through unprofessional methods and unethical behaviour” by its journalists, the letter said the autopsy mentioned in the story was “largely based on conjecture” and that it was done “lacking proper equipment, properly trained assistants, and the appropriate outfitted medical facility”.

The Bahrain government letter, sent by email on Friday, took issue with any claim that Yousef Mowali, 23, had been tortured and requested that the letter be published “in full as an official rebuttal to the outrageous claims based on little more than conjecture”.

The article, “Autopsy finds torture behind Bahrain drowning”, posted on this website on Wednesday, was based on a second autopsy carried out on the remains of Mowali, who left his family’s home in Muharraq on January 11 and never returned.

On the day of his disappearance, his parents had been told by police that their son was in detention.

His body was found floating in the water in the nearby Amwaj area two days later.

An official autopsy indicated that Mowali had drowned, but a second unofficial examination of the body, carried out by Sebnem Korur Fincanci, a professor in forensic medicine at the University of Istanbul, indicated that Mowali had been tortured and that he was unconscious when he drowned.

Source: Al Jazeera