On Saturday morning, the body of Salah Abbas Habib was discovered on a roof in Shakhoura in Bahraini. At the time, activists claimed that Salah had been running from police on Friday night when he was fired on with birdshot. Salah had subsequently gone missing and activists accused security forces of responsibility for the death.
Salah's death certificate, released today, cites "internal bleeding and gun shots" as the cause of death. An examination of his body at the morgue also reveals severe burns, a fractured neck, and other indications of brutal treatment.
So what did happen?
Around 8:10 a.m. on Saturday, police were alerted to the discovery of Salah's body. While there, they worked to prevent people from filming the body (see video) and later prevented both Salah's family and Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, from seeing the body. After the body had been taken to the morgue, the family were only allowed to see Salah's face, which had signs of blood.
Bahraini authorities put out a statement later that afternoon:
The death was determined to have happened under suspicious circumstances. The public prosecutor was immediately notified and the medical examiner was sent to the scene.
The statement added that "more details would be released as they become known".
Late Saturday night, a photo began circulating on social media of Salah's body on the roof, with clear signs of birdshot wounds along the side of his chest.
Today, Salah's body was released to his family for burial. The death certificate listed the cause of death as "internal bleeding and gun shots".
Present at the morgue were members of the Al Wefaq political society, along with lawyers and a doctor. Their examination of the body found the following:
- Neck fracture
- Birdshots pellets in the left side of the flank, more towards the back (most probably from short distance)
- Birdshot pellets at the back of left foot.
- Bruises in the right hand.
- Bruises in the left leg.
- Severe burns in the chest and abdomen.
Visual evidence for these claims was taken and is copied below. The evidence is graphic in nature.
Video of the body:
Pictures showing Salah's neck fracture and the burns on his chest:
Wounds from birdshot pellets fired by shotgun:
Salah Habib Abbas Alqattan in a demonstration before his death: