A Bahraini official accused political prisoners of “treason” and denied them the “political arrest” deal to cover up the violations of the repressive regime.
The statements of this official were received in response to the accusations of human rights organizations, experts and human rights specialists from around the world regarding the Bahraini authorities’ denial of the most basic rights of Bahraini prisoners and depriving them of their minimum humanitarian needs, as stated by international human rights law.
The head of the so-called Human Rights Affairs Sector at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arwa Hassan Al-Sayed, said, “There are convicts who are serving their sentences in various cases, and they receive all health and social services, along with safety standards and precautionary measures that the General Administration of Reform and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Interior is working to implement in accordance with international standards.”
The official Hassan Al-Sayed claimed that those convicted betrayed the homeland and committed crimes of violence, terrorism, incitement and harm to society.”
She claimed that “these crimes, which affected the security and unity of the homeland, were met with resentment and clear popular rejection by the citizens, and that the prison sentences that were issued in their regard after fair trials they were subjected to and exhausted the stages of litigation, achieved them personal safety, and secured their lives at the same time.”
In light of mounting international pressure on it to release political prisoners, the Bahraini authorities insist on denying the presence of political prisoners in its prisons.
Last June, the Ministry of Interior refused to name the detainees inside its prisons as politicians. However, human rights organizations document more than 3,500 Bahrainis languishing in prisons since the February 14, 2011 revolution.
The Ministry of Interior said in a statement issued at the time that “Bahrain does not have a single political prisoner.” She claimed that those in prison are only “convicted of criminal and terrorist cases, in which final verdicts have been issued.”
While the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, also known in Bahrain as the Basiouni Commission, mentioned in its report, which was approved by the King of Bahrain, the presence of these prisoners, led Bassiouniition leaders.
The Bahraini Interior Ministry’s statement was issued in response to a story published by Al-Jazeera about the demand of 13 members of the US Congress to release political prisoners in Bahrain.
In the middle of last month, 16 British MPs signed a petition calling on the UK government to use all available influence to pressure Bahrain for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.
The petition, which is expected to be joined by other deputies, stressed that prisoners in Bahrain are detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.
It specifically singled out 73-year-old political activist Hassan Mushaima. They expressed grave concern about his continued detention for ten years since he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his peaceful role as an opposition political leader in 2011.
On April 30, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Marta Hurtado, called for those responsible for the assault on prisoners of conscience in Jaw Prison to be held accountable and brought to justice.
It stressed the necessity of releasing all dissidents and prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.