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Bahrainís Authorities Continue to Target Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, Brian Dooley

2017-12-21 - 10:45 p

Bahrain Mirror: Senior advisor at Human Rights First, Brian Dooley, stressed that prominent Bahraini human rights defender Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, who was convicted and jailed with other leading peaceful dissidents, is now being targeted again, inside prison.

In an article published in the Huffington Post on December 18, 2017, Dooley describes Al Khawaja's prosecution as one of Bahrain's most notorious 2011 sham trials, noting that the HR defender, who has been arrested, severely tortured, held in solitary confinement and sentenced to life in prison, is being punished again after writing a letter to the Ministry of Interior about conditions in prison.

Dooley said that Al Khawaja's daughter Maryam told him his letter came "after collective punishment against political prisoners by order of the undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior. This included the confiscation of all books, papers, pens and the shutting down of TV. There are no activities to do at all inside the prison. In addition, family visits are now so short you can barely have a proper conversation."

In the letter he said "Even oppressive countries that arrest, torture and put people on trial, do not come back after six or seven years to retaliate against the hostages it holds due to things happening outside the prison, or even outside the country. What the Ministry of Interior is doing is not a sign of strength and courage, but rather evidence of weakness, fear and blunder. It is proof that the person in power is feeling insecure. Because he can't face the world, he's retaliating against people he already holds hostage."

Dooley criticized the Bahraini government's actions stating that it's hard to know what the authorities think they're achieving with this sort of punishment, calling on Washington to "tell its military allies in Bahrain that these actions against leading dissidents are vindictive and myopic, and only fuel resentment inside and outside the prison."

The Irish rights activist went on to say that "if Bahrain wants to make progress on finding a solution to its political crisis this is exactly the wrong thing to do. Introducing better prison conditions would be good, releasing the dissidents much better."

Concluding his article, HRF's Brian Dooley quoted what Al Khawaja further said in his letter: "If the Ministry of Interior think that their actions will affect our determination and spirit, they are making a big mistake. On the contrary, it only strengthens our will and makes us more intent on continuing on the path we've chosen. This reaffirms righteousness of our cause".

Arabic Version

 


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