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Bahrain's abuse of dissenters: four detailed cases

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"Where are you taking him?" she asked, referring to her husband. "We're going on a 'picnic,' " was the cynical reply. For how long? She asked. "It depends on how fast he cooperates."

Exactly what happened after his arrest is known only to his captors and to Fairooz, who hasn't been able to communicate with his family. All they know is that he wound up in Bahrain's military hospital at 10 the next morning.

"People who saw him said that he was in bad shape," said a close relative, who couldn't be further identified for his own safety.

On May 18, a military prosecutor questioned Fairooz, according to his attorney, Abdullah al Shamdawi, but Shamdawi was prevented from attending the session and had no contact with Fairooz.

Detainees tortured and killed

Mattar Ebrahim Mattar, who also resigned in protest from parliament in February, was seized within minutes of Fairooz.

Mattar's family calls it a kidnapping, and that would be an apt description – if it weren't for the government's involvement.

The snatch began with an elaborate setup that involved a woman unknown to Mattar who asked him to pick up an envelope with contents she couldn't describe.

After a rendezvous near a big supermarket, Mattar was driving toward the headquarters of the Wefaq, a Shiite political group, with the woman following, when he looked in the rearview mirror and saw a group of masked men in vehicles near the woman's car.

The masked men overtook him and cut him off. They emerged with submachine guns drawn, surrounded his car, and pointed the weapons at his head.

Mattar, who holds a master's degree in artificial intelligence and computer science, told McClatchy a few days before his arrest that he knew he might be detained. A bright, highly personable, but low-key leader of Wefaq, his name had come up during the secret military trial of seven Shiites accused of killing two Bahraini policemen in mid-March.

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