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Skyline criticizes prisoners of conscience’s conditions in Bahraini prisons and calls for urgent action

Skyline International criticizes the practices of the Bahraini authorities in prisons, especially after some recent international reports showed the increasing violations against activists, detainees and prisoners. Hence, it calls on the Bahraini authorities to stop their violations and work to provide full legal guarantees for detainees.

Sunday, Skyline states that the Bahraini dissident, “Hassan Mushaima”, 73, refused a royal pardon with conditional release, stressing that he prefers to remain inside prison until he “gets complete freedom without any restrictions. In this regard, “Ali Mushaima”, “Hassan’s son”, posted on his Twitter account a message written by his father, in which he emphasized “that he has patience and hope and that he will remain in prison until he obtains absolute freedom, and that he has chosen prison until he achieves his demand.”

Hassan Mushaima is considered one of the most prominent human rights defenders. The Bahraini authorities arrested him for the first time in 1995 due to a peaceful protest that he led at the beginning of his political and human rights activities. Then he was arrested several times and spent 5 years in prison. After that, the authorities arrested him in 2011 for calling for peaceful demonstrations during the Arab Spring and sentenced him to “life imprisonment”.

Accordingly, “Skyline” expresses its concern at the security authorities’ ill-treatment of detainees. It has also been monitoring many violations practiced by prison staff, especially “Jau Prison”, which witnesses a continuous decline in providing health services, denial of visits and confiscation of personalهproperties without any justification.

In addition, Skyline highlights the report issued recently by the Panel on Enforced Disappearances, which introduced names of Bahraini opposition figures who have been subjected to violations; among them Sheikh “Zuhair Ashour”, the opposition Shiite preacher, “Sayed Al-Gharifi”, and “Ali Al-Wazir”, who were subjected to arbitrary arrest, torture and deprivation of proper legal procedures.

The report also stressed that the violations breach the principles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report called on the authorities to respond to the letter, which provided accurate data about detained Bahraini figures.

For its part, Skyline International calls on the Bahraini authorities to stop their violations against detainees and work to form an investigation committee to find out the effects of the violations and bring the violators to trial. It also demands the authorities too allow the human rights centers to enter the prison and write down the detainees’ testimonies about their health conditions and the complaints they want to submit, improve the conditions of detention and prevent people from overcrowding in the same cell.

In conclusion, Skyline stresses the need to enable all detainees, especially prisoners of conscience, of their guaranteed rights in accordance with the Bahraini constitution and international law alike, and to work for their immediate and unconditional release conditions. It further states that arresting people based on their political positions or their opposition to the regime is a un unjustified violation for freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by international law. Hence, it calls on international organizations, particularly the United Nations, to intervene and play a more positive role to stop the Bahraini authorities’ violations of detainees.

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