Film-maker Jen Marlowe’s newest documentary “Witness Bahrain” is screening publically for the first time on Sunday February 6. “Witness Bahrain” is an award-winning documentary that provides viewers a look into Bahrain during, and shortly after, the Arab Spring. While Marlowe was in Bahrain making the film, she uncovered stories of doctors arrested and tortured by Bahraini authorities for treating wounded protesters, and of nurses who cared for injured youths in underground clinics. She learned about children who were arrested or killed by riot police. Marlowe filmed while hiding in the home of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab as police came to take him to prison for tweeting. Though she filmed in secret, she was ultimately deported.
Various human rights organizations have documented systemic human rights abuses in Bahrain, including torture, and extra-judicial killings. During the government’s suppression of dissent in 2011, it did not spare any part of the population: human rights groups documented the extra-judicial killing of men, women, children, and the elderly, as well as the detention of human rights activists, journalists, bloggers, and other activists. Nabeel Rajab’s case is one of the most prominent, but many others have been arrested, detained, and possibly tortured. It has been five years since the February 2011 protests, yet protests continue in Bahrain. The government’s response to the ongoing protests has not wavered, as judges and courts continue to hand out long sentences. A growing practice by Bahraini authorities has been to revoke individual’s citizenship, rendering them stateless.
Tyler Pry is an Advocacy Intern at Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain
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