A 27-year-old woman has died in hospital, 3 weeks after being hit by an iron rod during protests in Bahrain.
Zahra Saleh was present during protests in the village of Al-Daih on 18th November, although it is not clear whether she was participating in the demonstrations.
It is also unclear how the rod came to strike Saleh with The Ministry of Interior claiming that it had been thrown “by a vandal during rioting”.
However, blaming deaths of protesters on anyone but themselves has been a consistent tactic of the Bahraini authorities, therefore it is difficult to trust the words of The Ministry of Interior.
Added to this is video footage that has been circulated showing members of the Police Force carrying metal rods and Saleh with one such item protruding from her head. (See here, be aware may be disturbing to some.)
At this stage there is no clear evidence either way to suggest who is responsible for the death of Saleh, which in itself begs the question as to why the authorities were so quick to blame other protesters.
Currently, the Ministry of Interior has presented no evidence for their claim, although it would not be a huge surprise if some piece of unreliable, potentially fabricated piece of evidence suddenly came to light in the coming days.
After the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry the Police should be holding a full and fair inquiry into this incident and should avoid immediately making unfounded statements.
Whilst the responsibility for the incident cannot yet be pinned on the authorities, their subsequent reaction speaks volumes about their continued brutality and ignorance of the BICI.