The Use of 'Shozin' Weapon Unjustifiable

The Bahrain Human Rights Monitor has expressed deep concern over the use of 'Shozin' weapon (a weapon used for bird hunting) by one element of the security forces against a group of people who - according to a police official - rioted and attacked the security forces as they were searching a house. The Monitor, in a statement issued on 30 March 2009, stated that the use of any deadly firearms, including 'Shozin' which injured three citizens by stray bullets, is not justified.

The Monitor expressed concern about the leniency in dealing with the use of weapons - whatever their kind - during confrontations with advocates of violence, and added that violence and rioting are condemned by all sectors of society as well as civil society organizations, and should be handled with the least amount of losses.

It is noteworthy that the Director of the Police explained the circumstances of the incident and said that the security forces were searching a house in Sanabis, which reportedly contained fire bombs and gas tanks prepared to be used during rioting, and that a group of people attacked them with stones and sharp objects. The police then reacted by firing tear gas and when the situation escalated, one element of the security forces used the 'Shozin' weapon in self-defence. The Director of the Police refuted the accounts of those injured which were reported in the press.