A brief look at human rights violations: (part...
Human rights in Bahrain has deteriorated in 2020. Systemic injustice has intensified and political repression targeting dissidents, human rights defenders, clerics and independent civil society have effectively shut any space for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression or peaceful activism.
Unsafe health and hygiene conditions in Bahrain’s overcrowded prisons remain extremely serious. Although Bahrain released 1,486 prisoners in March due to Covid-19, the releases have excluded opposition leaders, activists, journalists, and human rights defenders – many of whom are older and/or suffer from underlying medical conditions.
In this report we take a short look at some human rights violations in Bahrain during last months.
1- Sheikh Zuhair Jasim Abbas, the opposition Shia cleric, arbitrarily arrested by Bahraini authorities on 18 July 2013. During his detention and investigation, he was subject to severe torture and to several human rights violations, and recently, he was subjected to enforced disappearance from 10July 2020 to 17 January 2021 during which he was subjected to various forms of torture and harassment as a form of reprisal for his stances and activism calling for the prisoners’ rights. He is currently held in Jau Prison, where he is serving his life sentence.
After months of being held incommunicado by Bahraini authorities, with no contact with his family or lawyer, Abbas was finally allowed to speak to his family on the phone on 17 and 18 January. Abbas described in detail the torture and other-ill treatment he had suffered over the past five months.
Responding to the report of torture and other ill-treatment committed against him Amnesty International said: “We are extremely concerned by these claims of torture and the vulnerability that Sheikh Zuhair Jasim Abbas, or any other detainee, is exposed to as a direct consequence of being held incommunicado and in prolonged solitary confinement, in complete isolation from the outside world. No detainee should have their human dignity violated.” "The Bahraini authorities must immediately order a halt to the torture and ill-treatment of Sheikh Zuhair Jasim Abbas, ensure he is given a medical examination by an independent doctor and end his solitary confinement. Bahrain must also open a full inquiry by the Special Investigation Unit, the only government monitoring body with the power to prosecute the perpetrators,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
2- Sheikh Mohammed Habib AlMuqdad is an opposition leader and religious figure serving multiple life sentences. He is currently awaiting three operations to unblock his coronary arteries, repair a hernia and address an issue with his prostate. However, to date prison authorities continue to delay the operations, leaving him in pain so severe that it sometimes restricts his ability to move. Dr AlSingace, an academic, blogger and former spokesman for the Al-Haq opposition group, suffers from a range of illnesses. Despite his condition, prison authorities have routinely refused to take him to appointments with medical specialists due to his refusal to submit to attending in shackles which violate international law. Consequently, he has not received an EEG test, despite recommendations by a neurologist.
3- Jasim Mohamed AlMahroos was a 23-year-old student of religious studies at Hawza Ilmiyya in Qom, Iran when he was arbitrarily arrested by Bahraini authorities at the Bahrain International Airport in 2018. During his detention, he was subject to torture and other human rights violations. He is currently held in Jau Prison, where he is serving his life sentence. Jasim appealed his sentences, but both the Appeals and Cassation Courts rejected his appeal and upheld the judgement on 30 June 2019 and 30 June 2020, respectively.