- Ali Mushaima recently went on a hunger strike outside the Bahrain Embassy in London to protest the ill-treatment of 73-year-old Hassan Mushaima and 69-year-old Abduljalil Al-Singace – both of whom are serving life sentences at Jau Prison for their political opposition and pro-democracy advocacy.
- As of July 9, 2021, Dr. Al-Singace has started a hunger strike to highlight his egregious treatment by the Bahraini authorities, exacerbating his deteriorating health condition.
- Like many of those incarcerated in Jau Prison, Hassan Mushaima has been subjected to ill-treatment and degrading practices, intended to humiliate and injure prisoners.
January 12, 2022- Ali Mushaima recently went on a 23-day hunger strike outside the Bahrain Embassy in London to protest the ill-treatment of political prisoners by Bahraini authorities. Ali is a political activist based in London who campaigns for peaceful democratic change in Bahrain. He is calling for the release of his father, 73-year-old Hassan Mushaima and 69-year-old Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace – both of whom are serving life sentences at Jau Prison for their political opposition and pro-democracy advocacy. Today, we call on you to help their cause and to join the fight for the liberation of pro-democracy activists in Bahrain.
In 2011, Dr. Al-Singace was arrested and later tried on fabricated charges of plotting to topple the government and sentenced to life imprisonment. In reality, Dr. Al-Singace was sentenced for exercising his freedom of expression and association, but more importantly, his due process and human rights have been systematically violated throughout his detention and trial. In protest, as of July 9, 2021, the Bahraini activist has started a hunger strike to highlight his egregious treatment, exacerbating his deteriorating health condition. In March 2021, the European Parliament joined Reporters Without Borders, English PEN, and Amnesty International among other important organizations, in their call for the imminent and unconditional release of Dr. Al-Singace.
Hassan Mushaima is a similarly prominent opposition political leader in Bahrain. He was the former Vice President of the largest opposition group in Bahrain – Al-Wefaq Islamic Society – and Secretary-General of the Haq Movement. Arrested in 2011 for his participation in the Bahrain pro-democratic uprising, Mushaima has now spent more than a decade in jail on trumped up charges of plotting to topple the government.
Like many of those incarcerated in Jau Prison, Mushaima has been subjected to ill treatment and degrading practices, intended to humiliate, and injure prisoners. Since 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) has reported numerous instances of torture and abuse in custody. Official reports list threats of sexual abuse, threats to family, and physical and psychological torture as recuring interrogation tools. Furthermore, ADHRB has noted an increase of systemic abuse of political prisoners in the past decade. Prison authorities have put different punitive measures in place for several political prisoners. These include forced shackling whenever the prisoners leave their cells and limited access to basic hygiene necessities like toilets. Those who dared to protest, have had their medical needs infringed, forcing them to forgo necessary visits to the medical clinic.
Medical negligence is a recurring theme in Bahraini prisons and Mushaima is just one case of many who have had their medical rights violated. Diagnosed with stage four follicular lymphoma in 2010, Mushaima had already been receiving treatments in London before his arrest. His condition requires Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans every six months to prevent relapse, something he has been repeatedly denied at different stages of his incarceration. Additionally, he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, in this regard, Mushaima has been routinely denied medicine for his diabetes and other necessary medication. As a result, his condition has deteriorated whilst in prison. His dire condition is amongst a plethora of reasons that his son, Ali Mushaima, has resumed his protests against the Bahraini authorities.
Bahrain’s deplorable human rights record has been a subject of concern internationally. In March 2021, more than a dozen British MPs urged the UK to pressure Bahrain to stop political detentions and end human rights abuses. In October 2021, a member of the UK Parliament stood outside Bahrain’s embassy in London to hold a press conference and show his support to the Bahraini activists and hunger strikes.
Yet, there is no indication that Bahraini authorities are undertaking any remedial action.
All over Europe, similar trends have emerged, in August 2021, Spanish MPs called for the government to intervene in light of Bahrain’s egregious human rights record, French MPs quickly followed suit. In December, the Italian Foreign Ministry raised serious concerns on the subject, and as mentioned above, the EU has already stated its solicitude on the matter. Across the Atlantic, a bipartisan group of US senators raised similar concerns in September, going so far as to call on the Secretary of State to press the kingdom on the issue.
Ali Mushaima continues his fight to obtain the release of Bahraini political prisoners and to promote democratic values in his country. Today, we call on you to show your support for his cause and to fight alongside him and fellow freedom fighters by helping raise awareness on this case and by joining our movement.
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