Tortured by Ian Henderson

Hashem Redha talks about how he was personally sexually assaulted by the Scot Ian Henderson:

Mr Henderson when he come in the room that time he is stopping behind me and I was in chicken position, they hang all your body and all the pain is become in you heard and your hand and your leg and he come and he put his finger in my ass and he says “still he is not talking”

Who was Ian Henderson?

After leaving Kenya where he had a role in combating the Mau Mau insurgency, Ian Henderson became Bahrain’s head of security in 1966, and retired in 2000. In 1971, following Bahrain’s Independence Deaths by torture appeared to increase. Between 1976 and 1986, eight people died in police custody. Amnesty International and the British Parliamentary Human Rights Group reported that at least six of those were believed to be as a result of torture. In 1991, Amnesty International stated that: Torture and ill-treatment are commonly inflicted on detainees during the initial period of their detention‘. Torture continued during the 1990s Intifada. In 1995, Amnesty International wrote;


Over a ten-month period, several thousand people – including women and children – were arrested and many continue to be held without charge or trial. Among them were prisoners of conscience. At least 100 of them were subsequently charged, convicted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment, and in one case to death, following grossly unfair trials. Scores of detainees are believed to have been tortured under interrogation, and two have died in custody. Security forces and riot police were deployed in large numbers in the streets to quell demonstrators. A variety of weaponry, including live ammunition, was used for this purpose. To date, 10 civilians have been killed in circumstances suggesting that they may have been extrajudicially executed. At least 20 Bahraini nationals were forcibly exiled from the country or were denied entry after attempting to return.

During the 1990s, British officials including Henderson still worked in the Bahrain security forces. In 1996 the Independent reported that

Interviews with former Bahraini prisoners living in Beirut, Damascus, Qatar and London provide consistent and compelling evidence that severe beatings and even sexual assaults have been carried out against prisoners under Henderson’s responsibility for well over a decade.

The Metropolitan Police conducted an investigation into allegations of torture against Mr Henderson, although in February 2008 they concluded that there was no realistic prospect of conviction. I am currently sending an FOI to the Metropolitan Police concerning the investigation. Ian Henderson passed away in 2013.

Victim Testimony

You can watch the documentary containing Hashem Redha’s testimony here: ‘Britain turns a blind eye to the Butcher of Bahrain’.

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