Further to information published by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) regarding the recent attack on prisoners at the Dry Dock prison (bahrainrights.org/en/node/5539), the BCHR has received following information regarding ill-treatment of prisoners.
The 23 year-old political prisoner Ali Radhi from Al-Eker village is on the fourth day of a hunger strike to protest being placed in a solitary confinement for the last four days without any explanation. His health is rapidly deteriorating.
Following his arrest last October, Ali Radhi has been allegedly beaten, tortured, and forced into signing a confession against his will as well as implicate a list of people in other alleged crimes; Ali did not know many of the people on the list. During his interrogation, one of the main interrogators and torturers, Isa Al-Majali, told Ali “You will say what we want you to say, or you will be taken into the ‘black room’”. Ali continued to demand to see a lawyer, and he was taken into the ‘black room’ where he was brutally beaten.
Radhi was taken to the office of the Public Prosecution, and initially was relieved to be in a location where there is not supposed to be any facilities for torturous interrogation. When Radhi spoke to the Public Prosecutor, he informed him that the confession was made under duress, that he was tortured, and that he wanted to see a lawyer. The Prosecutor warned Ali to not continue with these claims, and when Radhi repeated his demand for a lawyer, according to information received by the BCHR, he was taken behind some stairs in the public prosecution building, and severely beaten.
When Ali was sent to the Dry Dock prison, he could barely walk and required the use of crutches. During the attack on prisoners few days ago, Ali’s cell has been raided by prison guards, and he was severely beaten before being moved from to Alnabih Saleh police station and put in solitary confinement without giving him any explanation. According to what he has told his lawyer during a quick phone call yesterday, Ali has started a hunger since 1 Dec 2012 to demand that he is taken out of solitary confinement and is returned to the Dry Dock where he was originally being held. On the 4th of December, his family received an update on his health, after a doctor was allowed to examine his conditions: his blood sugar level is low, and he is urinating blood.
Radhi was arrested in Al-Eker village, which has recently been the site of an intense government crackdown in association with the incident of a policeman’s death in which the government has accused the protester. Police officers and civilian militias raided homes and beat and arrested people without warrants, and blocked the supply of food and medical supplies to the injured. (See BCHR article from October 21st, 2012: bahrainrights.org/en/node/5487 and bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/5486 )
The BCHR has received reports that many other prisoners are on a hunger strike, but because of the lack of transparency and communication, it has not yet been possible to confirm these other cases.
BCHR believes these acts are in violation of the prisoners’ rights and aim at discouraging other prisoners from speaking out against the abuses they are subjected to. BCHR believes that the Bahraini authorities are taking extra measures, including placement in solitary confinement, to control the hundreds of political prisoners, in absence of regular and independent monitoring of the prisons.
Based on the above, the BCHR calls on the US, the UK, the UN and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to:
1. Immediately grant access to the prison to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other independent human rights organizations with qualified and honest inspectors to examine the situation. Also, to reform the situation and to prosecute those involved in any violations and to punish or isolate delinquent administrative authorities.
2. Immediately release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience who were detained for merely exercising their rights as granted in the universal declaration of human rights.
3. Immediately drop all trumped up charges, especially those relating to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
4. Immediately stop systematic torture of prisoners & allow them to call their families.
5. Hold all those within the government, it’s ministries and employees who are responsible for human rights violations accountable.
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