The then correspondent of France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, Nazeeha Saeed was one of the many victims of the Bahraini regime’s crackdown on dissidents and journalists in response to a wave of anti-government protests in 2011, but hers was the first case of torture to come before a Bahraini court. Se was badly beaten, tortured and humiliated for several hours during interrogation at a police station in Rifa’a on 22 May 2011 about her participation in the March 2011 pro-democracy protests. She was finally released 11 hours later, after been made to sign papers she was not allowed to read.
Able to identify the five police officers who mistreated her, Saeed immediately filed a complaint with the interior ministry, which promised to investigate. Seeing that nothing was being done, she brought a legal action against the five police officers with the help of Media Legal Defence Initiative in January 2012. A trial began in February 2012 with only one of the five as defendant. It proceeded slowly, with many postponements and irregularities, and concluded in October 2012 with an acquittal that was upheld on appeal in June 2013. On 27 October 2014, Saeed and her lawyer were themselves summoned to appear before an investigating prosecutor.
When asked on 17 November 2014 to identify the police officers who had beaten and tortured her, she recognized only one of the three persons in the line-up. Since then, she has been waiting for the judicial authorities to initiate proper proceedings against the five police officers instead of just conducting a few interrogations.
Determined to press ahead with her work and activism, Saeed nowadays concentrates on denouncing the government’s free speech violations and defending Bahrain’s independent media. Reporters Without Borders has followed her case closely, repeatedly drawing attention to the lack of independence displayed by the Bahraini justice system.