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Amnesty International: The Bahraini Detainee Ahmad Mshaima’ Needs an Urgent Action

2015-05-17 - 12:20 am

Bahrain Mirror: Amnesty International has launched an urgent action to release the prisoner of conscience Ahmad Mshaima' stating that he may be at risk of further torture and other ill-treatment. In its statement (on 11 May 2015), Amnesty International said that it had written to the Ombudsman of the Ministry of Interior on 21 April, raising concerns about the torture he has been subjected to and asked what steps the Ombudsman had taken to investigate such allegations. No response has been received so far.

Amnesty called on to write immediately in English or Arabic to the King of Bahrain, Minister of Justice, Minister of Interior and accredited diplomats in Bahrain urging them to "release him immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for his legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of expression."

Ahmad Mshaima' was sentenced to one year in prison in December 2014 for reading a poem considered offensive to the King of Bahrain.

Amnesty stated that Ahmad Mshaima' was beaten following a prison strike on 10 March and again in the first week of May. "He may be at risk of further torture and other ill-treatment," it highlighted.

His family visited him on 5 and he told them that, "he had been blindfolded and beaten on his back and knees two days earlier," indicated the organization.
His family said that during the visit "he complained about hearing loss in one ear and feeling pain all over his body." He and other prisoners "have been sleeping in a tent in one of the prison's courtyards since 10 March."

Ahmad Mshaima' was arrested on 28 December 2013 and charged with "illegal gathering with an intent to commit crimes and disturb public security" following protests on 14 February that year to mark the second anniversary of the start of the uprising. He denied the charge but his trial started before the Lower Criminal Court in Manama on 13 March 2014 and is continuing. He was released on bail on 25 June 2014 and rearrested on 13 November in connection with new charges brought against him of "publicly insulting the King of Bahrain" when he read a poem during a religious ceremony.

After his arrest he told his family that "he had been tortured during interrogation immediately following arrest. He said he had been beaten, kicked in the legs, forced to insult his father and his religion, and coerced into signing incriminating documents." He was tortured again during Jaw's prison strike on 10 March 2015.

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