Unrest fatalities since May 2013
Over the past one and a half years – since mid-2013 – two rioters died during clashes with police. Over the same period eight police and one civilian have been killed as a result of bomb attacks by militants. The latest two militant bombings were perpetrated during December 2014, killing one policeman and a civilian.
Here we look at the available statistics in order to better understand the patterns of fatalities in Bahrain after three and a half years. The death toll is significant, because the opposition has consistently sought to portray an unjustifiably inflated impression of the number of deaths in Bahrain; using every alleged “martyr” to insight further social unrest and raise tensions, while inserting statistics for police and civilians killed by militants into their statistics and trying to convey a false picture of violent repression to international audiences.
This “violent repression” hypothesis is clearly false when we reinterpret the opposition’s own statistics to reveal the relatively small number of protesters who died as a result of police use of force, particularly from 2012 to 2014.
Eight deaths over the past two years were due to militants killed during terrorist or criminal acts. Several of these died when the explosives they were carrying detonated too early.
It is difficult coming up with an accurate figure for how many died during the unrest. Opposition statistics say over 100; but these figures are problematic because they include many cases whose links to the unrest is vague at best. For example, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights statistics includes Yusuf al-Nashmy and Jaafar Mohammed Jaafar; one of whom died of a brain tumor and the other while hospitalized as a result of sickle cell anaemia.
The BCHR statistics for early 2012 are greatly inflated by people who they claim died as a result of exposure to tear gas. The BCHR’s list of “tear gas victims” is highly problematic. It includes several people who had been in hospital for a prolonged period suffering from other symptoms before they died, people suffering from respiratory disorders; elderly victims and one unborn baby. Reportedly, opposition figures encouraged families of the deceased to link these deaths to the unrest, pointing out the substantial compensation payments available for those deaths linked to these events.
While we cannot discount the likelihood that tear gas was a complicating factor in the symptoms of some of these individuals; with others the link to tear gas is highly speculative. These lists of “martyrs” also include several individuals who were killed in car accidents. Over this same period, nine police officers were killed; often as a result of explosive devices planted by opposition militants.
We should also recall here a number of South Asian workers who were killed by protesters, or by explosive devices planted by terrorists and Ahmed al-Dhafani who died in April 2012 while trying to clear burning tyres near his home. A hidden device left by opposition militants detonated and killed him. Zahra Saleh died in late 2011 after being hit in the head by a metal rod thrown by protesters while on her way home.
Total fatalities since February 2011
Explaination of categories
Security forces fatalities: Police killed by rioters or by explosive devices
Deaths during criminal acts: Militants killed by their own actions while engaged in acts of crime or terrorism.
Deaths not attributable to security forces: This includes people who died during 2011 for whom the BICI could not confirm a link to the security services; as well as expatriates and civilians killed by protesters. This includes two cases where the opposition and MoI versions were in disagreement, such as Yousif Ahmed Muwali whose death was attributed to drowning by an MoI autopsy, while opposition sources claimed he’d died in detention.
Car accidents: Including individuals who ran in front of traffic while being pursued by police and those who were involved in traffic accidents during protests or rioting incidents; as well as one car crash following a police chase.
Tear gas/illness: Deaths where the opposition have claimed tear gas as a factor. This includes people with respiratory disorders, asthma, epilepsy, sickle cell, hereditary disorders; as well as the elderly and the very young; and several who died after a prolonged period in hospital for other disorders. This list also includes those who died of illness in police custody; for example, one prisoner who was taken to hospital with a brain tumor.
Rioter deaths: Rioters or protesters who died during confrontations with police or in police custody.
Security forces fatalities
Death toll for rioters during clashes with police
Death of militants during criminal and terrorist acts
The following list is in the first instance based on lists provided by the BCHR and Bahrain Watch; supplemented by material from the BICI, the Ministry of the Interior and media reporting. This has been cross-checked with a list of casualties provided by the opposition Al-Wasat newspaper.
Citizens for Bahrain has serious reservations about many of these sources; in particular the tendency of the BCHR and Bahrain Watch to attribute “tear gas” as a cause of death in many cases where the evidence doesn’t support this.
We chose to use opposition sources as our starting point as these tended to be the widest-ranging and most extensive sources on casualties. However, where possible, we have sought to qualify this data from alternative sources.
Citizens for Bahrain has not been able to independently verify the data below and the judgments on the causes of death are the judgments of the sources quoted.
Nov 2014 – Jan 2015
Jordanian policeman Ali Mohammed Ali killed by explosion in Dumistan (8 Dec) while stationed in Bahrain on an exchange programme.
One civilian killed by a terrorist bombing in Karzakan; one injured Asian expatriate (9 Dec)
No fatalities during this period
Policeman Mahmoud Fareed (4 Jul) – Killed by terrorist blast in East Al-Eker
Mahmoud Mohsin (21 May) – Reportedly killed by birdshot during rioting in Sitra
Feb – Apr 2014
Ali Abbas Ahmed & Ahmed Mohammed Rasoul (19 Apr) – Two killed one injured when their car carrying bombs exploded in Al-Muqsha
Husain Sharaf (1 Apr) – Wanted for murder of policeman. Died after an explosion in the location where he was hiding
Jawad Ahmed al-Hawi (17 Mar) – Opposition sources say tear gas / official sources say heart failure
Policeman Abd-al-Wahid al-Balooshi (15 Mar) – Killed during explosion in Al-Dair
Three police deaths (Tariq al-Shuhi, Ammar al-Dhalei, Mohammed Arslan – All three killed on 3 Mar in an explosion in Al-Daih
Jaafar al-Dirazi (26 Feb) – Complications due to sickle cell anaemia (transferred from detention to hospital). Opposition sources claimed “medical negligence”
Abdulaziz al-Abbar – Reportedly hit by birdshot and/or a tear gas canister during rioting at a funeral in Saar on 23 Feb 2014, died 18 Apr
Asma Hussein (11 Feb) – Heart attack; reportedly after a raid on her home
Nov 2013 – Jan 2014
Fadhel Abbas Muslim (25 Jan) – Shot during involvement in weapons-smuggling operation. Attempted to kill policemen by ramming them with vehicle
Ahmed Abd-al-Amir (30 Nov) – Died from burns after throwing a Molotov
Aug – Oct 2013
Ali Khalil al-Sabbagh (22 Oct) – Killed by homemade bomb he was carrying
Yusuf Ali al-Nashmy (11 Oct) – Brain tumor (transferred from detention to hospital)
Policeman Muhammad Amir Abdulkhaliq (18 Sep) – dies of his injuries caused by a bomb blast
Mohammed al-Kasoor (13 Sep) – Hit by falling palm tree while building road block
One car accident-related death (Sadeq Jaafar Sabt 1 Sep)
May – Jul 2013
Hussein Abd-al-Kareem (26 Jun) – Opposition sources: “Mysterious explosion”/ MoI: killed while building bomb in workshop
Hussein Kadhem (29 Jul) – Police car overturns with him inside after being detained on charges of theft
Policeman Yasser Dhaib (6 Jul) – killed by a homemade bomb explosion
Feb – Apr 2013
Abdul Ghani al-Rayyes (1 Apr) – Hypertension. Died after son detained by police
Mahmoud al-Jazeeri (22 Feb) – Hit by tear gas canister
Policeman Mohammed Asif Khan (14 Feb) – shot with a flare gun at close range
Hussein al-Ahmed Ebrahim al-Jazeeri (14 Feb) – Killed by birdshot pellets
2 alleged tear gas-related deaths (Amina Mahdi 13 Feb; Jaafar al-Tawil 25 Mar)
Nov 2012 – Jan 2013
3 alleged tear gas-related deaths (BCHR) (Health sources say Qassim Habib Jaafar 26 Feb; died of pneumonia; Basil al-Qattan 20 Dec; Habbib Abdallah 12 Jan)
1 car accident (Ali Abbas Radhi 9 Sep – hit by car during pursuit by police)
Aug – Oct 2012
Policeman Imran Ahmed Mohammed (18 Oct) – hit by an “explosive projectile”
Hussain Neamah (29 Sep) – Killed by birdshot pellets
Hussam al-Haddad (17 Aug) – Killed by birdshot pellets
3 alleged tear gas-related deaths (Health sources say Hassan Abdullah Ali 18 Sep, died of blood circulation failure /Mohammed Ali Mushaima 2 Oct, died from sickle cell complications; Mehdi Marhoun 17 Oct)
2 expat workers killed by explosive blast
May – Jul 2012
1 alleged tear gas-related death (Maryam Abdullah 9 Jun)
Feb – Apr 2012
Ahmed al-Dhafiri (7 Jun) – Killed by explosive while clearing tyres
Salah Abbas Habib (21 Apr) – Killed by birdshot pellets
Ahmed Ismael al-Samadi (31 Mar) – Shot by “armed civilians”
Fadel Mirza al-Obeidi (10 Mar) – Hit by tear gas canister
Policeman Ghulam Mustafa died of burns on 25 Oct 2012 following firebomb attack on 22 Apr
Hussein al-Baqali (17 Feb) – Died of burns after burning tyres
10 alleged tear gas-related deaths (MoI contests all these cases; Health sources say Sabri Mahfouz Yousef 18 Mar, died of pneumonia; Ahmed Abd-al-Nabi 24 Mar; Abdeh Abd-al-Hussein 24 Mar; Jaafar Jasim 17 Mar; Sakinah Marhoun 6 Mar; Habib Kadhem 29 Feb; Zeinab Issa 25 Feb; Salman Mansour 17 Feb; Abdali Abdullah 6 Feb; Ali Issa 6 Feb)
Nov 2011 – Jan 2012
Abbas al-Sheikh (25 Jan) – Killed by birdshot pellets
Badria Ali (14 Jan) – Set herself on fire following prolonged depression; after her son was arrested
Yousif Ahmed Muwali (13 Jan) – MoI says drowned; opposition said tortured
Sayed Hashim Sayed Saeed (31 Dec) – Hit by tear gas canister
Zahra Saleh (7 Dec) – Metal rod projectile thrown by protesters
Ali Hasan al-Dehi (3 Nov) – Reported by BCHR as assaulted by police; MoI claimed he suffered a heart attack
5 car accident-related deaths (BCHR) (Muntadher Saeed Fakhar 25 Jan, MoI say he died after collision, Al-Wefaq claims he was tortured; Mohammed Yaqoob 26 Jan – BCHR says he was run over – MoI said he died of natural causes/ sickle cell; Ali Baddah 19 Nov; Abd-al-Nabi al-Aqil 23 Nov; Ali Ahmed al-Qusab 15 Dec)
5 alleged tear gas-related deaths – (Abdali al-Muwali 17 Dec, MoI says he died a natural death; Salma Abbas 14 Jan, health sources cited blood circulation complications; Fakhriya al-Sikran 1 Jan; Mohammed al-Khanizi 20 Jan; Yasin al-Asfour, 20 Jan)
Aug – Oct 2011 (Based on BICI findings)
Ahmed Jaber al-Qattan (6 Oct) – Killed by birdshot pellets
Jaffar Hassan (18 Sep) – Reported by family as assaulted by police; BICI unable to confirm excessive use of force
Ali Jawad al-Sheikh (31 Jul) – Struck by tear gas canister
2 alleged tear gas-related deaths (Sayyed Jawad Hashim 14 Sep, Health sources cited pneumonia & sickle cell; Jaafar Lutfallah 30 Sep)
May-Jul 2011 (Based on BICI findings)
Majid Mohammed Abd-al-Aal (30 Jun) – shotgun pellets fired by “armed civilians” (BCHR)
Jaber al-Elewat (12 Jun) – Reportedly mistreated in detention; died after release after suffering stomach pain (BICI)
Salman Abu-Driss (3 Jun) – Reportedly beaten by police; health sources cited heart attack
4 tear gas-related deaths (Zainab Jumaa 2 Jun, refuted by BICI as non-related to tear gas; cause of death cardiac arrest; Sayyed Adnan Hassan 23 Jun; Zainab Hassan 15 Jul; Issa al-Tawil 31 Jul)
Feb – Apr 2011 (Based on BICI findings)
13 protestor/civilian deaths – attributable to Security Forces (Ali Mushaima 14 Feb; Fadhel al-Matrook 15 Feb; Isa Abd-al-Hassan, 17 Feb; Ali al-Mumin 17 Feb; Ali Kudhair 17 Feb; Mahmoud Makki 17 Feb; Abd-al-Redha Buhmeid 21 Feb; Ahmed Farhan 15 Mar; Jaafar Salman 16 Mar; Jaafar Ma’youf 16 Mar; Isa al-Radhi 19 Mar; Hani Jumaa 24 Mar; Bahia al-Aradi 21 Mar;
4 police & 1 BDF officer dead. (Ali al-Miraisi 16 Mar; Mohammed al-Balooshi 16 Mar; Kashef Mundher 16 Mar; Aziz Jumaa Ayyad 24 Mar; Jawad Shamlan 20 Mar)
4 deaths allegedly resulting from torture in detention (Hasan Makki 3 Apr; Ali Saqer 9 Apr; Zakariya al-Asheri 9 Apr; Abdulkarim Fakhrawi 11 Apr)
8 civilians dead – not attributable to perpetrator: Ahmed Abdullah Hassan 16 Mar; Abd-al-Rasool al-Hujair 20 Mar; Sayyed Ahmed Shams 30 Mar; Isa al-Abdullah 25 Mar; Khadija Abd-al-Hai 5 Apr; Al-Sayyed Mahfoudh 6 Apr
6 expatriate workers dead (Abd-al-Malik Ghulam Rasool 13 Mar; Mohammed Tozzumul Ali 15 Mar; Mohammed Ali Ikhlas 15 Mar; Aklas Miah 15 Mar; Stephen Ibrahim 16 Mar; Fareed Maqboul 19 Mar)
Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report
Full death toll list by opposition newspaper Al-Wasat
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights: List of Killed people since Feb 14, 2011
Bahrain Watch: List of fatalities
Bahrain’s Feb14 Revolution Martyrs List
Physicians for Human Rights: Tear gas casualties
Gulf Daily News: Officers killed in the line of duty since 2011
(Please note that some of the statistics have been altered since the previous edition of this report, based on access to additional information and the opportunity to cross-check a greater range of sources)