Right to Left: Mohammed Al Moghani, Hussain Al Aali, Jaffar Eid, Radhi Ali

05 February 2013

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned for the health and well being of the four prisoners who have begun a dry hunger strike in Riffa prison to protest the unjust imprisonment and torture they are subjected to at the hands of the prison authorities.

Mohd Almughni, Jaffar Hussain, Hussain Al-Aali and Radhi Ali began a hunger strike on the 7th of January, and are now on their 30th day without food. On the 1st of February, 2013, the BCHR received information that these detainees have stopped taking water as well. The health of these prisoners has already been greatly weakened as a result of the torture they are continually subjected to, the denial of medical attention, and now the hunger strike. The BCHR fears for the lives of these wrongfully imprisoned men, and calls for their immediate release.

According to the families, these prisoners have suffered from severe physical and psychological abuse. They have been severely beaten, forced to eat with their handcuffs on, forced to stand for long periods of time while blindfolded, and the air-conditioning in the prison cell is constantly on, despite the winter conditions. The prisoners are provided with water that is unsuitable for drinking, and are kept in a generally bad environment where they are held at Riffa prison (according to their families). Each of these men is currently being held in a cell measuring only two meters by two meters; some of these cells are shared other prisoners who do not speak a common language, and with whom they are not allowed to attempt to communicate. The prisoners are not allowed more than five minutes outside the cell each day, and they were allowed these five minutes only after four months of detention. They are not allowed more than five minutes of phone calls every two weeks. Starting January 2013, they have been given 1 hours visit every two weeks instead of 30 minutes visit every week. Except for Radhi, they are not allowed to receive any books from their families. They were not allowed to receive any of the medicines which they were taking before their arrest. They are not allowed to receive warm clothes for the cold season in Bahrain.

Due to the poor prison conditions and the torture they were subjected to, the detainees are now suffering from multiple health problems, physical and physiological:

• Jafar Eid started to suffer from problems with his kidney due to the unclean drinking water. He has walking problems as a result of beatings he received on his leg, and the small confines of the cell do not allow for rehabilitation. His vision is poor, and his cellmate has scabies.

• Hussain Al-Aali has tribology, which is escalating due to his inability to move in the small cell. He also suffers from pains in his back as well as poor vision.

• Radhi Ali Radhi is suffering from regular headaches, sinus problems and pain in his back. He was not allowed to receive the medicines he took before he was arrested. In January 2013, he suffered from problems with his kidneys.

Jaffar and Hussain have been forced to take pills which they say caused hallucinations.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has previously written about the severe torture and poor detention conditions these detainees were subjected to, including the poor conditions in which visitations are conducted. In fact, three of the detainees entered a ‘visitation strike’ in protest against the humiliating treatment they were subject to. (See: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/5522)

The detainees in this case are accused with “the making and possession of explosive materials”.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights call for immediate action on behalf of the Bahraini authorities and the international community to:

- To immediately improve the detention conditions and provide the necessary treatment to Mohamed Al-Mughni, Hussain Al Aali, Jaffar Eid, Radhi Ali and all other prisoners in need of medical care in the prisons of Bahrain.

- For the authorities in Bahrain to abide by the international conventions which they have ratified, especially concerning the rights of prisoners to receive full medical care.

- End the practice of torture in the prisons of Bahrian.

- Hold accountable those involved in torture, and bring them to a fair and independent judiciary.

- Ensure that the accused prisoners receive a fair trial, starting with ensuring their protection from torture.