On 4 October, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 51 under item 9, during the General debate. ADHRB demands an investigation into the mistreatment of Sheikh Al-Muqdad to hold the responsible officers accountable.
We express grave concern over the reprisal suffered by political prisoners in Bahrain, especially Shia prisoners, in terms of harassment and mistreatment in relation to their beliefs, which constitutes a clear violation of the Durban Declaration by Bahraini authorities, while the rampant culture of impunity prevents any accountability.
Authorities’ discrimination against Shia prisoners on the basis of belief also occurs through restrictions and denial of medical treatment.
Recently, prominent religious cleric, 62-year-old Sheikh Abduljalil Al-Muqdad was subjected to assault and mistreatment. He is one of the opposition leaders who were arrested and tortured following the pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011. After four years of being intentionally denied medical treatment, Sheikh Al-Muqdad, who suffers from several medical conditions, had an appointment scheduled. Officers wanted to force him to go to the clinic even though he knew a doctor would not be there. When he refused to go since he knew he would not receive treatment, at least four officers attacked him, insulted him, and tried to force him to sign a statement indicating that he refused treatment. The ill treatment and torture Sheikh Al-Muqdad has faced since his arrest takes on a sectarian nature.
We urge Bahrain to take serious steps toward reform and to limit sectarian discrimination in prison. We also demand an investigation into the mistreatment of Sheikh Al-Muqdad to hold the responsible officers accountable, and call for his immediate release, along with all political prisoners.