On 23 March, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 49 under item 4, during the General debate. ADHRB demands the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Bahrain.
AlSalam would like to draw the Council’s attention to the application of the Alternative Sentencing Law in Bahrain and its utilization to whitewash the government’s violations.
Prisoners released under alternative sentencing are subjected to a number of restrictive measures that violate their basic rights, which include: travel bans, prohibition of participating in religious, cultural, and political gatherings, prohibition of speaking to press, electronic monitoring, and others. Despite the press ban, prisoners are requested to film a video thanking the King for their release. When ex-prisoner Kameel Juma Hasan, who was declared arbitrarily detained by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, refused to do so, the duration of the restrictions almost tripled to 25 years.
Kameel is also forced to wear an ankle monitor at all times, which must be charged while on him. Kameel, still in highschool, feels isolated from his community due to restrictions on participation in events as well as the stigma around wearing the monitor in public, even though he had been arrested and mistreated as reprisal against his activist mother.
Prisoners of conscience like Kameel have been released under this law and forced into silence. Bahrain must immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, without relying on the alternative sentencing law to improve its image while continuing its crackdown on activists.