Date :Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 | Time : 09:00 |ID: 84881 | Print

Bahrain: The worrying status of political Prisoners

SHAFAQNA- There are around 5,000 prisoners of conscience, as well as 200 victims of excessive use of force, murder and tortur in Bahrain, the Bahrain Centre for Dialogue and Tolerance says, as the ruling Al Khalifah regime discriminate against political dissidents and Shia majority.

The head of the Bahrain Center for Dialogue and Tolerance, Sheikh Maytham al-Salman, said in a statement during a conference held in Lebanese capital Beirut that “human rights as well as civil and political situation in Bahrain have deteriorated.”

Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman added that there are around 5,000 prisoners of conscience in Bahrain and some 200 political prisoners have died under torture in Bahraini prisons since the popular uprising began in the country in 2011, Mirat al-Bahrain news website reported.

“Continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Bahrain is taking place amid silence from the international community, including the United Kingdom and the United States of America,” Salman added.

Salman then called on international diplomatic missions to investigate the trials of political and human rights activists in Bahrain, record the violence they face in prisons, and use diplomatic visits to examine the status of detainees.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has been witnessing almost daily protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011, with Manama using heavy-handed measures in an attempt to crush the demonstrations.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.

Amnesty International and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition groups and anti-regime protesters, IQNA reported.

Bahraini political prisoner may go blind over denial of treatment

Bahraini activists say an imprisoned political dissident is at serious risk of losing his eyesight due to abuse and denial of medical treatment as the ruling Al Khalifah regime.

The Karrana Prisoners’ Commission stated a week ago  that the health condition of Salman Abdul Nabi Ibrahim, who has been sentenced to 95 years in jail and whose nationality has been revoked, is deteriorating, Arabic-language and independent Manama Post online newspaper reported.

The commission went on to say that the inmate is complaining of significant weakness in his eyesight after being severely beaten on the head during his torture at the notorious Jaw Prison.

It noted that the family of the Bahraini prisoner has repeatedly demanded prison officials to provide him with an ophthalmologist, but the requests have gone unanswered.

The family of Ibrahim, who was arrested during an anti-regime protest rally, is considering filing an appeal, Press TV reported.

Abuse campaign against female activists by Al Khalifah regime

Bahrain’s largest opposition group warned about the ruling regime’s sweeping arrest and abuse campaign against female activists throughout the course of a campaign of suppression that has already taken the lives of scores of dissidents.

Manama has rounded up as many as 994 women for demanding “freedom and democracy” since the start of anti-regime rallies on the island in 2011, al-Wefaq tweeted on Sunday.

The al-Wefaq said in its tweet message that Bahrain’s ruling regime was subjecting women to all types of inhumane treatment, such as imprisonment, torture, and intimidation. The females were becoming “increasingly vulnerable” to the draconian methods, the movement added.

It cited the security forces’ arrest of three sisters on December 2018, named Fatimah, Iman, and Amal, from the Diraz Village in northern Bahrain, which is under a siege imposed by the government.

Al-Wefaq described the arrests as “violation of all of the Bahraini women’s values”.

It also added that the regime had separately detained a mother of two, leaving her children unsupervised.

“The Bahraini woman is a very amazing and advanced model of high understanding and an active and a great person who has sacrificed herself for her homeland,” the society insisted.

One of the most high-profile arrested female activists was Zainab Al-Khawaja who was detained in December 2014 and sentenced to three years in prison for tearing up a picture of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. She was freed during a visit by then US secretary of state John Kerry in April 2016, but her case has not been shuttered.

In mid-October 2018, three female prisoners started a hunger strike against their insufferable incarceration conditions.

The high-profile activists, Hajer Mansoor Hassan, 49, 41-year-old Najah Ahmed Yusef, and Medina Ali, asked for the glass barriers between them to be removed and they be allowed visits by family members as well as more access to the prison’s courtyard and three phone calls per week, High Council For Human Rights reported.

Prison authorities are reportedly keeping female prisoners in the isolation ward, and the detainees are unable to contact anyone from the outside world. They are denied any privacy as closed-circuit television cameras monitor their movements round the clock.

The prison administration has thus far ignored all of their demands.


Read more from Shafaqna:

Activists mark uprising anniversary by protesting outside Bahraini embassies in Washington, London

NGOs Condemn Violence Against Protesters on Fifth Anniversary of Bahrain’s Peaceful Uprising

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