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A prominent prisoner of conscience in Bahrain goes on hunger strike to protest medical negligence

Human rights sources reported that prominent prisoner of conscience Sheikh Mirza Al-Mahroos started a hunger strike in protest against medical negligence and ill-treatment in Bahrain’s prisons.

The Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights said in a tweet on Twitter that Al-Mahroos went on hunger strike “in protest against the harassment he is being subjected to and being denied the necessary treatment in light of his deteriorating health condition.”

Other human rights sources stated that Al-Mahroos is protesting against the ill-treatment he is being subjected to inside the prisons of the authorities in Bahrain, despite his suffering from colon disease and not being able to receive the necessary treatment.

Al-Mahroos went on hunger strike several times to protest the ill-treatment and denial of treatment, knowing that he also complains of severe back pain that prevents him from sleeping.

Al-Mahroos is still suffering from the effects of torture he was subjected to after his arrest in 2011. He also complains of colon disease and severe bleeding for a long time, as a result of being prevented from receiving his medication.

The Bahraini regime authorities sentenced Al-Mahrous to 15 years in prison, based on his calls for political reforms and his human rights activism.

The family of Sheikh Al-Mahrous has repeatedly called on the authorities to provide him with medical care, holding the Ministry of Interior responsible for his life.

It also called for his immediate release and the dropping of all charges against him, following the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

The report concluded that his confessions were extracted under torture.

The Bahraini regime authorities deliberately deprive prisoners of conscience of the necessary medical care, under supreme directives.

The authorities continue to prevent UN rapporteurs from visiting the country, to closely review the human rights situation since 2005.

The families of prisoners of conscience in Bahrain do not have sufficient information about the situation of their children, in light of the state of extreme secrecy imposed by the regime authorities.

Hundreds of detainees of opinion are held in prisons, imprisoned and tried in courts that lack legitimacy on political grounds and on spurious and fabricated charges.

Political detainees suffer from overcrowding in prisons and deliberate medical neglect.

And 18 human rights organizations and groups addressed US President-elect Joe Biden, in a joint letter regarding opposition figures, activists and human rights defenders in Bahrain.

The letter referred to “unjustly imprisoned, held in deplorable conditions and routinely denied medical care.”

Human rights organizations assert that the Bahraini authorities are violating the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, or known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules,” which are supposed to be internationally recognized standards.

The first rule states: “All prisoners shall be treated with due respect for their inherent dignity and values ​​as human beings”… No prisoner shall… be subjected to degrading treatment.” Rule 2 states that there may be no discrimination in treatment on the basis of “political or non-political opinion,” while Rule 3 indicates that punishing prisoners beyond that inherent in the prison itself is an unlawful goal.

The behaviours followed in Bahrain’s prisons contradict these rules, and this is evident in several points, including personal care, except that the “symbols” detainees are all prisoners of opinion and conscience, and their detention is in itself illegal.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an official opinion, concluding that depriving prisoners of conscience in Bahrain is a violation of multiple provisions of international law and is “arbitrary”, meaning that it is illegal.

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