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MP Bernard O'Hara Condemns British Gov't Silence on Detention of Political Prisoners in Bahrain

2022-01-15 - 4:44 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): British MP Bernard O'Hara condemned the arrest of 1400 political prisoners being held in Jaw prison, 500 of whom have been sentenced to 20 years or more.

O'Hara noted the case of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, one of the most prominent political prisoners in Bahrain. He said that Al-Singace was subjected to physical and mental torture, as well as sexual abuse, at the hands of the Bahraini authorities. He was charged with plotting to overthrow the Government and given a life sentence.

46 parliamentarians signed an open letter to the Foreign Secretary asking her to intervene on behalf of Dr. Al-Singace and his family, but I am sorry to say that nothing has been done and the Government have remained largely silent.

The verdict was immediately condemned by human rights activists and non-governmental organizations, with the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemning the Bahraini Government for "a stunning disregard for due process and basic human rights." The French NGO Reporters Without Borders declared that his only crime was "freely expressing opinions contrary to those of the government".

O'Hara highlighted that Al-Singace languish behind bars and has been on hunger strike since July. Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace has refused food in protest at his treatment in the notorious Jaw prison, where he has spent more than a decade for his part in supporting the pro-democracy Arab spring uprising in 2011.

The MP also shed the light on the case of former opposition leader, Hasan Mushaima, 74, who is also serving a life sentence, having been jailed in the aftermath of the pro-democracy uprising in 2011. 

O'Hara noted that there are many more political prisoners being held in Bahrain's jails simply for voicing or organizing their opposition to the regime.

Arabic Version