On 17th June 2020, sixty Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sent a letter to Bahrain’s dictator demanding the release of the political detainees languishing in his torture cells. The letter explicitly states concern for the cases of the senior figures who are spending their tenth year behind bars. These include Hassan Mushaima and Abdulwahab Husain and Sheikh Ali Salman, the leaders of the opposition. The letter also said: We are concerned about reports of lack of medical care to Professor, blogger, and human rights defender Dr. Abduljalil Alsingace and political prisoner Shaikh Abdulla Isa Al-Mahroos also known as Shaikh Mirza Almahroos. Some other important political prisoners include Shaikh Abduljalil Almiqdad and Shaikh Ali Salman. Among these prisoners are leading and prominent human rights defender Mr. Naji Fateel, in addition to other imprisoned EU nationals Mr. Abdulhadi Alkhawaja and Shaikh Mohammad Habib Almiqdad.” The MEPs urged the regime to release political prisoners and take necessary measures to stop the virus spreading in prisons and detention centers.
Fifteen members of the UK Parliament have so far signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) condemning the khalifi decision to execute two innocent native Bahrainis. The EDM says that neither of the two men, Zuhair Ibrahim Jasim Abdullah and Hussein Abdullah Khalil Rashid was allowed to attend their final appeal hearing. It deeply regrets that despite three UN experts documenting due process violations against 20 individuals including Zuhair and Husain in December 2018, including acts of torture over a 13 day period against Zuhair, that both men have now exhausted all legal remedies and they now face execution pending ratification of the death sentence by the King of Bahrain. The EDM calls on the UK Government calls “to unreservedly condemn these sentences and asks that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office use whatever influence it has with the Bahraini authorities to seek an immediate commutation of these sentences”.
On 20th June political prisoner, Sayed Ahmad Sayed Majid Sayed Mahdi called his mother crying of tooth pain that has prevented him from eating for several days. He said: “I feel cold, my teeth are killing me”. Khalifi torturers refuse to treat his decaying teeth or even provide pain killers. The agony of native Bahrainis under khalifi regime continues. At the age of 15 he was sentenced, three years ago, to almost 11 years for opposing dictatorship.
A prominent Saudi dissident who is living in exile in Canada said he was recently warned by Canadian authorities that he was a “potential target” of Saudi Arabia and that he needed to take precautions to protect himself. Omar Abdulaziz, a 29-year-old activist who had a close association with Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered Washington Post journalist, told the Guardian that he believed he was facing a threat to his safety and that the Canadians had credible information about a possible plan to harm him. The video blogger and activist, who has nearly half a million Twitter followers, has spoken publicly about his fight against Saudi government propaganda and its use of internet trolls on Twitter.
The family of Sheikh Awad Al Qarni who has been languishing in Saudi jails for two years is concerned for his life. It has been confirmed that all forms of communications with Dr. Awad al-Qarni have been cut since Ramadan, when his voice was weak in his last call. He has not called his family since then, not even during Eid al-Fitr. Other families, including that of Lojain Al Hathloul and Naseema Al Sadah had experienced lack of contact with their prisoners. This has now become one extra means of torturing both the prisoner and his/her family. The family of another political detainee has reported a similar situation. Sheikh Salman Al Awdah has not called home for over a month, even on Eid Al Fitr Day. He has been behind bars since September 2017.
Despite dropping his death penalty Murtaja Qureiris is still languishing in Saudi jails. At 13 years of age he was arrested in 2014 by the border police on the causeway linking Saudi Arabia with Bahrain. He was detained for four years without being presented before a judicial authority nor allowed to challenge the legality of his detention. He was charged with multiple offences, including participating in anti-government protests and joining a “terrorist organisation”, charges linked to his peaceful participation in demonstrations in 2011 when he was 10. It was not until September 2018 that he was presented before the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC). The Saudi public prosecutor’s office recommended that he be sentenced to death. On June 16, 2019, he was instead handed a 12-year prison sentence. On February 12, 2020, his sentence was reduced to 8 years imprisonment. He remains in jail.
Bahrain Freedom Movement