Al Wefaq Women: statement on Int’l Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

SHAFAQNA – As the world celebrates the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Bahraini regime continues to subject women to various forms of physical and psychological abuse, solely for taking part in the ongoing pro-democracy peaceful movement that erupted in 2011.

Five Bahraini women remain behind bars for political reasons, one of them, with a 6 month old infant. Zahra Alsheikh is serving a one year sentence in jail for exercising right to freedom of expression. She is suffering with her newborn child from the poor prison conditions.

Nafisa Alasfour is another female political prisoner. Nafisa is suffering from physical effects of torture and is in great need for adequate healthcare.

Nafisa was arrested and prosecuted along with another female protester named Rayhana Almusawi. Both women were subjected to various forms of torture and abuse in prison. Rayhana was forcefully stripped of her clothes by officers, she is still suffering from the psychological effects of the degrading treatment she has been subjected to.

All five women were arrested, and some prosecuted, based on lawsuits against them, without consideration to due process. On the other hand, security personnel accused of murder and the practice of torture, coercion and mistreatment of innocent citizens have not been convicted or even questioned.

The Bahraini regime is continuing its shameful practice of violence against women by threatening them to be arrested from their homes in front of their children. Over the past 4 years, many Bahraini women were abused and threatened with rape during interrogations. Most were not told what their accusations were, in violation to the constitution and national and international laws.

The Women Affairs Department in Al Wefaq National Islamic Society appeals to Ms. Rashida Manjoo, the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women at the United Nations, to urge for the release of the Bahraini female political prisoners who are denied fundamental rights and freedoms.

Women Affairs Department

Al Wefaq National Islamic Society

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