Bahrain Mirror: The US State Department report about human rights in the world for 2017 that was recently issued stated that the Bahraini government denied holding any political prisoners, although it acknowledged holding several dozen high-profile individuals, including leaders or prominent members of political societies and organizations and others who were publicly critical of government institutions or government actions prior to their arrests.
According to the Ministry of Interior, the total number of persons in pretrial detention was 895, and the number of prisoners was 3,485. Some human rights organizations and opposition groups asserted that the majority of detained individuals were political prisoners, but the assertion could not be substantiated.
Authorities held some political figures and prominent human rights activists, including Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) President Nabeel Rajab, who the US State Department said was the only prisoner held at the East Riffa police station until he was transferred to Al-Qalaa police clinic in April following a medical emergency and then to Jaw Prison on October 26.
The report also mentioned Al-Wefaq secretary general Sheikh Ali Salman and Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who orchestrated a hunger strike of Jaw Prison inmates to protest poor prison conditions.
Authorities released several Shia scholars and activists arrested during the Diraz protests in front of Sheikh Isa Qassim's house in May 2016, the report further stated.
In June 2017, BNSA authorities summoned Mohammad Sultan, son of former Al-Wefaq Council of Representatives member Sheikh Hassan Sultan, four times for questioning. Opposition media claimed that during sessions, BNSA officials attempted to recruit him to work as an informant against his father. The interrogations followed Bahrain TV broadcasting alleged calls between Sheikh Hassan Sultan and a Qatari official during the 2011 protests in which authorities claimed they plotted to overthrow the regime. Reports from opposition media and activists alleged he was beaten, stripped naked, and threatened with rape.