On Monday 17 September, at the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, ADHRB’s Director of Advocacy delivered an oral intervention during the Agenda Item 3 General Debate. In the intervention, ADHRB raised concerns about Bahrain’s continued restrictions against Hassan Mushaima and other high profile political prisoners, including restrictions on access to healthcare. Continue reading for the text of the intervention or click here for a PDF of the remarks.

Mr. Vice President,

Alsalam and ADHRB would like to raise concerns about arbitrary imprisonment, harassment, and denial of medical care of political prisoners. For example, Hassan Mushaima is serving a life sentence in Bahrain’s notorious Jau Prison after he was arrested and tortured for his leading role in the 2011 pro-democracy movement.

Over the last year, the Jau Prison administration has instituted new restrictions meant to humiliate and degrade political prisoners, forcing them to submit to baseless shackling and strip searches to obtain medical treatment. Prisoners like Mushaima have rejected these arbitrary constraints as violations of international detention standards, and as a result, the prison has denied them necessary healthcare.

Mr. Mushaima has been restricted from screenings for cancer, from which he is in remission, medication for diabetes and high blood pressure, and treatment for gout. Only in August 2018, after his son launched a hunger strike outside Bahrain’s embassy in London, has Mr. Mushaima been provided some of this care, but authorities continue to impose undue restrictions.

We also remain concerned over the complicity of Bahrain’s allies, the United Kingdom and the United States, as both states have remained largely silent on Mr. Mushaima, refusing to publicly address the situation while continuing to back the Bahraini government.  Meanwhile, both the United Kingdom and the United States continue to train Bahraini police forces that have been implicated in torture and abuse.

We urge all states, including the United Kingdom and United States to call on Bahraini authorities to provide unrestricted medical treatment for Mr. Mushaima, and to ultimately call for his immediate release.

Thank you