French and Spanish Parliament members question Bahrain for violations
European parliamentarians continued to pressure their governments on Bahrain’s human rights file and abuses practiced by authorities in Manama against dissidents and activists.
Justine Benin, Member of Parliament for Guadeloupe, questioned the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on his commitment to ensuring respect for human dignity and political freedom in Bahrain. Ms Benin has drawn attention to the growing lack of respect for human rights in Bahrain and the repression by the authorities of all opposition figures.
Ms. Benin enquired about the diplomatic action currently being taken to ensure that respect for human rights is upheld in Bahrain and the fundamental right to political freedom.
Marta Rosique i Saltor and Maria Carvalho Dantas, Members of the Congress of Deputies of Spain, tabled questions for the Spanish government on July 23, 2020, regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain’s Jaw Prison. Ms. Saltor and Ms. Dantas questioned the Spanish government on its position at the “forefront of the fight for human rights,” and implored immediate action by the government to utilize its bilateral relations with Bahrain and act with foreign policy “focused on the defense and guarantee of human rights.”
Bahrain’s notorious Jaw Prison has been the subject of widespread international controversy, as reports continue to arise with regards to the prison’s appalling conditions and lack of COVID-19 safety measures. In particular, concern was raised for Mr. Hasan Mushaima, the leader of the political opposition, and his deteriorating health condition following a systematic denial of medical care.
Overcrowding and medical negligence have exacerbated the already dire situation within the prison, leading to a peaceful sit-in by prisoners on April 17, 2021, in protest of the prison’s management of COVID-19 and the death of political prisoner, Mr. Abbas Malallah.
This was brutally suppressed by prison authorities who reportedly assaulted, tortured and transferred multiple prisoners to unknown locations. This was followed by the tragic death of Husain Barakat on June 9, who passed away only days after testing positive for the virus.