STATEMENTS

Countrywide protests to free political prisoners as one is martyred

Yesterday a native Bahraini political prisoner was martyred at khalifi torture dungeons. Abbas MalAllah, 50, was in good health until the outbreak of the pandemic in Jau prison last week. The regime claimed that the martyr had suffered a heart attack. Inmates said that the prison authorities had failed to provide him with timely care as his condition worsened prior to the “heart attack”. BIRD Director Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei received a
telephone call yesterday from an eyewitness who shares Abbas’s cell, who stated that Abbas collapsed after getting up to use the bathroom at approximately 12:00 am this morning. However, he reported that guards took 45 minutes to respond to their requests for an ambulance and he was not transferred to hospital until 1:30am. BIRD understands that Abbas’s cell is equipped with a CCTV camera, which may be able to confirm their account of events. Abbas’s cellmate added that on-duty guards initially refused to respond without approval from a superior officer, further delaying Abbas’s medical treatment and raising concerns that the delays contributed to his premature death. The following morning, prison authorities also attempted to compel Abbas’s cellmates to sign a statement absolving the prison of responsibility for his death, which they refused to do.
For the past week Bahraini people have taken to the streets demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the political prisoners to save their lives following the outbreak of Covid-19 among them. Mothers, sisters, wives and other siblings gathered at roadsides in more than 20 towns and villages with placards calling for their loved ones to be set free from khalifi torture dungeons. Instead of heeding these calls, the tribal regime has waged witch hunts against activists to replenish the cells evacuated by former detainees. Mothers were heart- broken as the news of the outbreak became reality with people like Abbas Mallah dying or reaching the verge of death like Mohammad Abdul Hassan. Towns like Duraz, Bani Jamra, Karbabad, Daih, Markh, Buri, Nabih Saleh, Nuwaidrat, Ma’amir, Dair, Aali, Abu Saiba’ and Manama have seen daily protests reminiscent of the countrywide demonstrations after the eruption of the Revolution on 14th February 2011.
Three brothers from Karbabad town were arrested for taking part in a peaceful protest. Younus Al Daqqaq and his two rothers Anwar and Yasser were demanding the release of their brother, Mohammad who has been languishing in khalifi jails despite his severe sickle cell disease. The regime’s torture apparatus also summoned scores of native Bahrainis. Ten were asked to attend police station 17 at Hamad town. They include: Ali Baddao, from Duraz, Sadiq Ghawwas, from Sanabis, Sayed Munir Sayed Taqi, from Buri, Aziz Fateel, from Bani Jamra and Ali Muhanna from Sanad. Yesterday, Hussain Sahwan, a known lamenter was detained from khalifi court which indicted him for taking part in a religious event as a lamenter.
Another political prisoner, Mohammad Abdul Hassan Habib Yousuf was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after his condition had become critical. The 27 years old man is serving 27 years jail sentence for peaceful anti-regime activities. He was arrested two years ago and was in perfect health until last week. He developed what could be Covi-19 symptoms but received no attention. He was moved to the ICU only after other prisoners had begun a hunger strike demanding his treatment. He is now at Salmaniya Hospital on a ventilator.
While Bahrainis face dire economic conditions, dictator Hamad and his crown prince and prime minster, Salman have bought a large English country estate from prince Bandar bin Sultan, senior Saudi royal. The former ambassador to the U.S. sold Glympton Park in the scenic Cotswolds region in February, the people said, asking not to be identified as the deal is confidential. The sale price was more than 120 million pounds ($165 million), one of the people said. Public documents filed this month for Glympton Estates Ltd., the company managing the estate, show a change of ownership at that firm. They now list King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and his son, Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, as the people with significant control of the firm, replacing Prince Bandar.
On Friday 2nd April, Mary Lawlor, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders called on Bahrain to release a prominent human rights defender from prison before his 60th birthday this week. Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja, who previously served as president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, has been in prison for 10 years, serving a life sentence for “organising and managing a terrorist organisation”, among other charges. He’s serving a life sentence in prison for peacefully defending the rights of others, Lawlor said. He has
been given an unfair trial and details of his torture were corroborated by an independent commission of inquiry”.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
7th April 2021 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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