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After the UN backed Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry issued its report in November 2011, the Bahraini Authority have been making significant efforts to whitewash their damned reputation in the eyes of the international community and international human rights organizations. For this, it used foreign friends and Public Relations firms. The Authority continued with this even as the opposition societies took a decision to boycott the legislative and municipal elections in 22nd November 2014.
Indications of the Authority’s respect of human rights have fallen even further as it banned the opposition societies from organizing peaceful rallies. Moreover, it banned Al Wefaq Society from holding its General Conference on December 4th, 2014, before it finally allowed it on the 26th of the same month. However, on the very next day, the Secretary General of Al Wefaq, Sheikh Ali Salman, was summoned then taken into detention on the 28th of December 2014.
From January till March 2015, the Liberties and Human Rights Department (LHRD) saw that the Authority continued to ban peaceful marches and events led by the opposition societies. Meanwhile, the top opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, remained in detention.
Also, in the defined period of documentation, over 1600 inmates in the Jaw Prison were subjected to torture and degrading and cruel treatment. These inmates were deprived from their fundamental human rights. Security forces fired tear gas canisters in a number of wards in the prison’s buildings. Many prisoners were beaten with batons on the head and other parts of the body. They were also forced to stay outside the buildings, they were humiliated and deprived toilet access, family phone calls and visits and prayer.
Furthermore, the Authorities in Bahrain have arrested hundreds of citizens with cases related to the political crises in the country, including political activists and human rights defenders like: Sayed Jameel Kadhim-chairman of Al Wefaq Shura (consultative) Council as well as the Council’s member Mahdi Alekri. Hussain Jawad Parweez, President of the European-Bahraini Organization for Human Rights also remains in detention. Fadhil Abbas Mahdi, a political activist and the Secretary General of the Unitary Assemblage Society was arrested after security forces raided his house.
In this report, we also come across death sentences issued against three Bahraini nationals. Another sign of the deteriorating human rights situation over this period was the shutdown of Al-Arab Television Channel after it interviewed Khalil Almarzooq, a senior member of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, indicating a strangling restriction on freedom of expression and opinion in Bahrain.