Bahrain: 2 Prisoners of Opinion of the Same Family Experience Abuse & Violations

Cairo: 10 October 2017

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), today, condemned the Bahraini  authorities’ clear rigidity and arbitrary actions against the blogger and human rights activist “Rawan Sanqour”  inside the women’s prison in “Isa Town”, as she was deprived of meeting her mother during her visit, as well as the inaction on providing healthcare to her brother “Ali Sanquor”, a prisoner of opinion.

Two weeks following her arrest on September, Rawan’s health deteriorated after isolating her from the other women prisoners inside the prison. According to sources inside the prison, Rawan is suffering from irregular heartbeat, as well as a bad mental state, as reported by her family, because the prison administration banned her from seeing her mother during the last visit.

The Bahraini Public Prosecution ordered the detention of Rawan for 30 days pending investigations after accusing her of reaching out with foreign organizations; against the backdrop of asking the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene to help her detained brother “Ali Sanqour” receive treatment.

Noteworthy, the Bahraini authorities has been detaining “Ali Sanquor” since 2015 on account of his anti-Bahraini government political activism.  Ali is experiencing fractures in his pelvis inside the prison, and that makes him unable to move. In spite of her sister’s repeated calls to let him receive treatment, the Bahraini authorities refused his treatment.

ANHRI has confirmed that the arbitrary actions- whether the visit ban or rigidity on providing treatment to patients- against prisoners of opinion inside the notorious Bahraini prisons are considered a crime against both of prisoners of opinion and political prisoners. It is worth mentioning that Bahraini government has been refusing,for more than 5 years, the visit of UN Special Rapporteur on torture to Bahrain’s prisons, in spite of the international calls to Bahrain so as to allow his visit; whereas the last call was during the 36 session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

“The Bahraini authorities’ ongoing use of such arbitrary actions against the prisoners of opinion reflects a  systematic approach by the authorities, not just individual cases or personal judgments by the Bahraini security forces. Those violations come within a long series of suppressing the freedom of expression as well as association by the Bahraini authorities, particularly after the Bahraini revolution in 2011,” said ANHRI.

In this context, ANHRI stresses on its repeated calls to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) along with the Special Rapporteur on torture to put  pressure on Bahrain’s government in order to allow the prisoners of opinion to receive treatment. ANHRI, also, calls on the Bahraini government to stop their systematic practices and respect the freedom of expression.