Stop torturing prisoners in Bahrain, British...
Al-Khalifa (Bahrain's ruling family) regime has a dreadful record in human rights, and Human Rights Council and all other international bodies have testified that the regime is killing and displacing its citizens. It tends to enslave the Bahraini people and do not want to tolerate any opposition idea.
Hundreds of Bahrainis have been jailed, and some stripped of citizenship, since 2011, as authorities continue to crack down on political dissent.
The situation of Al-Khalifa prisons is appalling and severe pressure is imposed on prisoners depriving them of basic needs such as food, treatment, religious books, and even visiting their families. Bahraini prisoners suffering cancer, multiple sclerosis and sickle-cell anaemia do not have access to medical care.
Health care in Bahrain’s prison system is marred by regular instances of negligence, delay, and arbitrary exercise of authority, which in specific cases rise to the level of intentional ill-treatment, and which result in an overall lack of adequate care for detainees and prisoners.
A British Liberal Democrat MP, Tom Brake, is leading a movement in the UK Parliament calling for the adoption of a motion for ending degrading treatment against political prisoners in Bahrain, suspending technical assistance programs to Bahrain and release of all political prisoners, including opposition leaders who were subjected to torture and unlawfully convicted by a military court in 2011. So far, 38 MPs have signed the petition.
The signatories expressed further concern that the UK has provided over £5 million in technical assistance programs to Bahrain to train human rights oversight bodies, which appear to have systematically failed to investigate thoroughly human rights abuses and whitewashed torture in Bahraini prisons.
The petition urges the UK Government to suspend the program until Bahrain abides by its international human rights obligations, including the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; and calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including the Bahrain 13. It also expresses concern about the arbitrary and extrajudicial arrest of 13 Bahraini opposition leaders.
It condemns the deliberate targeting of Hassan Mushaima, who is being denied unconditional access to medical care, family visits and books and notes with dismay that detained leaders Abduljalil Al-Singace and Abdulwahab Husain are victims of similar punitive measures.
Hassan Mushaima was at the forefront of Bahrain’s Arab spring protests in 2011– a mass movement that peacefully called for human rights and democratic reforms in the authoritarian Gulf kingdom. Police violently crushed the demonstrations, killing dozens and jailing thousands. Mr Mushaima Along with other leading human rights defenders and opposition figures – known collectively as the Bahrain 13 –was tortured and hauled before a military tribunal. After a patently unfair trial, the court sentenced him to life, simply for calling for democracy in Bahrain.
The British MPs said they are concerned that the violations of Mr. Mushaima's rights have caused his son to launch a hunger strike outside the Bahraini Embassy, and that the political prisoner Ali Haji is also on a hunger strike to protest degrading treatment in Jaw prison.
The petition deplores the degrading treatment of political prisoners in Bahrain and inhuman conditions of detention facilities as described by the UN Human Rights Committee in July 2018, particularly in Jaw prison, including unsanitary conditions, severe overcrowding, inadequate access to drinking water and unhygienic toilet facilities.
It is noteworthy that Mr. Tom Brake, and 18 other MPs from different parties, excluding the ruling Conservative Party, have already made a similar motion three years ago, demanding the release of opposition figures, namely their leader Sheikh Ali Salman. They also called on the British government to intervene to secure the release of all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain, yet little progress has been made since then.
Since the eruption of the February 14 protests more than seven years ago, 28 motions have been submitted on Bahrain in the British Parliament, but this has not prevented the ongoing British political support to the Bahraini government in various areas and in all ways, including diplomatic coverage, direct security cooperation, arms sales, the opening of a new military base and so-called technical assistance programs to reform the security and judicial bodies.
The existence of the Bahraini dictatorship system relies on two elements of Saudi and Emirati financial and military assistance and the international political and arms support of the United States, the UK and other European countries. There will be no change in this system, until such supports exist.