Bahraini Jaw Prison’s Mood during Gulf Cup Final
2019-12-14 - 9:25 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Cameras captured moments of joy that Bahrain witnessed after winning the Gulf Cup for the first time since the tournament started 50 years ago.
Gatherings were held in Diraz, Muharraq, and others in Riffa and Sitra to watch the final match against Saudi Arabia, before people took to the streets to celebrate the historic victory. Unfortunately, the lenses did not capture the atmosphere in Jaw Central Prison.
The prison authorities allowed the inmates, on a rare occasion, to watch the match of the national team live. This excited some prisoners. One said: "Let's watch the match today (...) I will see my friend," and another said: "My cousin is with them as well."
Some were enthusiastic about watching the match, while others lacked the desire to follow the game from prison, as some of them have been locked up for more than 8 years on charges related to their participation in protests calling for political reform.
Some inmates were nailed to the small screen in one of the television rooms, while others complained. It was an unrepeatable opportunity to see some friends and relatives. They were browsing faces, and whenever the camera showed the Bahraini fans at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in the Duhail Club, they carefully checked if they'd get the chance to see a friend, former colleague or classmate.
Prisoners were analyzing the gameplay and reacting to lost attacks, while others- who did not care much about the game- laughed at the "enthusiasm of the tortured prisoners, holding their breath during the Saudi team's attempts and groaning at the lost Bahraini attempts!"
Contrary to the progress of the game, and at the 69th minute of the match (at approximately 8:28 pm), Mahdi Humaidan leads from the right side to pass the ball to the forward striker approaching from behind, Mohammed Al-Rumaihi, to strike a goal into Fawaz Al-Qarni's net.
This time the police did not intervene to beat the shouting detainees. Cries of celebration echoed inside the prison walls.
Standing, some eagerly waited in that hall for the whistle of the Swiss referee, Lionel Cheddy, to announce a bitter joy that proved to be larger than the prison cell.
In another not so far room, former player Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Mulla imagined what his position would have been in the national squad wearing the team's red shirt bearing the number 4. He was an amazing winger before his arrest in October of 2014.
Certainly, he was wondering whether he would have accomplished more, if he had been in the right winger Mahdi Hamidan's place, or whether he would have passed the ball the way he passed it to Al-Rumaihi. It was difficult moments for a football lover who has been deprived of enjoying this sport for more than 5 years.
In words full of sorrow, Al-Mulla sent his congratulations saying: "A thousand congratulations to the national team and its remarkable players... You have made us proud;" however, adding: "To the people who all rejoiced in the victory, think of us, we also deserve a stand from you."