Activists to meet prisoners' lawyers By geoffrey bew Published: 12th February 2007

TWO Bahrain human rights activists will meet lawyers in the US representing the country's remaining detainees in Guantanamo Bay on Friday.

Senior officials from the now-dissolved Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) are making the trip to discuss new strategies on how to bring the two men home.

President Abdulhadi Al Khawaja and vice-president Nabeel Rajab are travelling to New York for a two-day meeting with legal team head Joshua Colangelo-Bryan and other officials.

An unnamed BCHR representative based in Washington will also join them for the two-day visit.

The activists also plan to meet with US human rights organisations to discuss future plans to bring the two Bahrainis and other detainees still being held at the facility home.

It is only the second time they have gone to the US to see the lawyers, following a trip in 2005.

"We need to sit down and talk about strategies for the future, especially with the new developments in Washington," Mr Rajab told the GDN.

"We need to go and talk about how to deal with the situation of our detainees that they are living with now."

The two Bahrainis still being held at the prison camp in Cuba have never been charged or put on trial.

Isa Al Murbati, 41, is being kept in Camp 1, allegedly the highest security section at the prison, after being forced off a hunger strike.

The other, Juma Al Dossary, 32, is being held at the prison camp's mental health unit and reportedly suffers from a variety of health problems.

According to the US military, he has tried to kill himself 13 times.

"We will speak with the attorneys about the condition of Juma and Isa at Guantanamo," said Mr Rajab.

"In particular, I am interested to hear about the isolation in which Juma and Isa are being held and the very harmful effect of indefinite detention on them.

"I also look forward to speaking with the attorneys about strategies for bringing Juma and Isa home and

about ways that people in Bahrain can be involved in this effort.

"We are very much concerned, especially with

the way they have been treated and where they are

being held.

"We also need to have more discussions about that, how to make their situation better and how to put pressure on the US government."

Mr Rajab said the organisation would also honour the legal team for the work they have done to free all the Bahraini prisoners in Guantanamo.

"Without them none of our detainees would have come back to Bahrain," he said.

Three other Bahrainis, Adel Kamel Hajee, Abdulla Al Nuaimi and Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, were released from Guantanamo in November 2005, while Salah Al Blooshi was released from custody and returned to Bahrain in October last year.

© Gulf Daily News