This is How Khalil Al-Halwachi Spent 7 Years, 5 Months in Prison

2022-02-18 - 12:35 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Imprisonment  is deemed one of the hardest experiences in a human's life; when the authorities decide for one reason or another to hold a person behind iron bars, depriving one of freedom or seeing one's loved ones. This experience is even more difficult when the arrest takes place over unjust reasons and political motives. However, people like Khalil Al-Halwachi have another opinion on the matter.

Since his arrest on September 3, 2014, Khalil Al-Halwachi considered the prison experience as a trial by God, which he has to emerge from unchanged or a better person. Hence, from day one, he started to offer moral, religious and ethical guidance, which he is well versed in, to his fellow young detainees, and tried to influence them to change for the better in all aspects of life.

Mr. Al-Halwachi stayed for more than 6 months in Dry Dock Prison and was among the political detainees, who remained the longest period imprisoned without a trial. He even exceeded the legal period of pretrial detention, during which he used to meet new detainees, with whom he worked in educational and religious programs and activities. 

When he was transferred to the central prison, he wasn't going to a place where he knew no one, as he had already met with a number of detainees in Dry Dock Prison, in addition to the activists he knew before his arrest, due to his wide network of acquaintances due to his social activism.

Al-Halwachi was transferred to building 13 in Jaw Prison. He became friends with prominent figures, such as human rights activist Naji Fateel, athlete Mohammad Mirza, activists Ali Haji and Hisham Al-Sabbagh and one of Fakhrawi's sons. All of these were not regular prisoners, as they were activists who conducted programs and activities inside prison.

The Jaw Prison administration considered building 13 as a building of inciters. Thus, after the 2015 incidents in Jaw Prison, it transferred the prominent figures to another building.

Al-Halwachi made use of this chance to meet more prisoners and continue his activism. Many inmates called him "Father Khalil Al-Halwachi" due to the love seen in his treatment of others.

Khalil Al-Halwachi influenced a large number of detainees throughout his prison term, which lasted for 7 years and 5 months. His influence was reflected in two important issues, one concerning quitting cigarette smoking and the other related to the cleanliness of the place, which had a good effect on the health and psychology of detainees.

He was known for his stubbornness and confronting prison police on more than one occasion, most notably the late night search and harsh treatment of prisoners.

Al-Halwachi didn't bear the deliberate harsh treatment. He used to confront police officers. His eyeglasses which broke more than once during late night searches is an example.

Khalil Al-Halawachi entered prison in the spirit of the seeker of changing people for the better. He saw a lack of programs and events for prisoners and did not hesitate to communicate with the prison administration and provide an integrated program that benefits them according to his vision and the prison administration was impressed by his proposals. He expressed his views or his opposition to what he was not convinced of, and this was reflected in his delay in getting out of prison under the Alternative Penal Code.

The prison administration convinced him to sign his release papers, but he directly asked them about the nature of work he will be tasked with in case he gets released. A few days later, the prison administration told him that he will work in a job out of 3 due to his health condition and old age. He then agreed to get released under the Alternative Penal Code to serve the remaining sentence of his 10-year prison term.

Al-Halwachi sees that he sent his message while in prison and despite his release under the Alternative Penal Code, he will definitely continue his message in society and among his people.

Arabic Version