Bahraini Princess Faces Torture Charges

 @AmruthaGayathri
on January 24 2013 7:17 AM

A princess in the Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain has been charged with torture of pro-democracy activists detained during a popular uprising in 2011.

Princess Noura Bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa, 29, who serves in Bahrain's Drugs Control Unit, has been accused along with another officer of torturing three people, the BBC has reported.

Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifas cracked down on the uprising, which began on Feb. 14, 2011, calling for democratic reforms. Troops from Saudi Arabia rolled into the country within weeks of the beginning of the protests, and the Bahraini regime imposed martial law.

Noura Al Khalifa, who has denied the charges, appeared in court on Sunday and Monday for the hearings.

In one case, the princess is accused of torturing two doctors, Ghassan and Bassem Daif, brothers who worked at the Salmaniya medical complex. Staff from the facility had tended to the injured protesters after security forces used brute force to disperse the crowd.

She is also accused of torturing a woman, 21-year-old Ayad Al Qurmazi, who was arrested in March 2011 after giving public readings of her poems, which were critical of the monarchy.

Qurmazi alleges she was held for nine days, blindfolded, beaten with cables and threatened with rape. She identified the princess as her torturer.

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