The friends and relatives of the Bahraini footballers say the players were beaten up and subjected to long interrogations and humiliation in custody.
Goalkeeper Ali Saeed, striker A’ala Hubail and his brother Mohammed, both members of the Bahraini soccer team, have been among the victims.
“The first two weeks after they were arrested were the worst. They were beaten all the time. They still have marks on their bodies,” one close relative told the Times on the condition of anonymity.
“The men who were beating them were not Bahraini. They didn’t care who they were,” said a friend of the players.
The soccer players have been threatened with more abuse if they speak out, their friends and relatives say.
The accusations contradict Manama’s earlier assurances to FIFA — football’s governing body — that no player has been suspended or mistreated.
Thousands of anti-government protesters have been waging protest rallies in Bahrain over the past months, demanding an end to Al Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for over 40 years