2022 Portfolios: Bahrain Bids Farewell to Dr. Al-A'ali, Exiled Sadiq Al-Hayki, and Lebanese Advocate Samar Al-Haj

2023-12-09 - 4:49 p

Bahrain Mirror (2022 Portfolios): The year 2022 carried with it somber news of the demise of prominent and influential figures, such as the Lebanese Samar Al-Haj, who spared no effort in advocating for the people of Bahrain for over a decade, Dr. Jalila Al-A'ali, a member of the imprisoned medical cadre, and the pursued activist Sadiq Al-Hayki, who passed away in exile, far from home, due to security pursuits by the authorities.

Samar Al-Haj:

On Thursday, January 13, 2022, Lebanese activists announced the passing of the activist Samar Al-Haj. Her personal tragedy transformed her into a dedicated advocate for the oppressed.

After her husband, the head of Lebanese Internal Security Forces, General Ali Al-Haj, was arrested in 2005 following a false witness statement in the Rafik Hariri assassination case, Samar emerged in the media defending him and his comrades in what became known as the "Four Officers" case. Her personal tragedy turned her into an outspoken advocate for justice for the oppressed, both inside and outside Lebanon.

Although the Four Officers were released in 2009, acquitted of Hariri's murder, Samar Al-Haj continued to defend the oppressed. She became one of the leading voices supporting the Bahraini people's movement, standing up against the harsh oppressive authorities. She did not turn her back on them, even when the majority of them were not from her sect, as others did.

After a bitter struggle with illness, Samar closed her eyes on this world, leaving behind thousands of Bahrainis and the oppressed who remember her fondly.

Dr. Jalila Al-A'ali:

On Thursday, February 10, 2022, Dr. Jalila Al-A'ali passed away at the age of 64 after a fierce battle with cancer.

Dr. Al-A'ali was arrested in 2011 as part of the "medical cadre" case. She testified that, blindfolded and handcuffed during interrogations, she was slapped several times, showing no regard for her age, which was over fifty at the time.

She pointed out that the medical cadre, whose confessions were filmed, suffered psychological torture. They were forced to provide false confessions, including admitting to killing a wounded person through widening the wound, even though the doctor had performed his humanitarian duty by trying to save the injured person who eventually died.

The late Dr. Al-A'ali mentioned that she had no knowledge of what she was confessing to, especially considering that her role was limited to the medical tent, where diabetic patients frequented. However, the authorities coerced her into stating that the medications used in the clinic were intended for Shia individuals only.

Al-A'ali managed to witness the doctors in the filming room, providing testimony about their degrading situation. "They were placed on the ground with their heads down, each doctor awaiting their turn for filming, being dragged into one of the rooms." Upon her release, she conveyed to the families of the doctors that she saw them "sitting in one room, with their hair shaved, having lost a significant amount of weight, blindfolded, with their hands tied, in a miserable condition."

Upon her release, Al-A'ali discovered her cancer diagnosis. She left for the United States for treatment at her own expense, as the Ministry of Health refused to sponsor her treatment despite her service in the medical sector for about 30 years. She suffered from the disease until her demise.

Sadiq Al-Hayki:

On July 18, 2022, the young Sadiq Al-Hayki passed away at the age of 28 in his forced exile, hunted down by a regime that has no mercy and a witness to the tragedies of his people.

Sadiq, who was arrested in 2008 at the age of 15 on charges of allegedly joining a terrorist group in what became known as the "Hujaira Case," suffered the loss of an entire school year.

After his release, he attempted to resume his studies, but security forces rearrested him in 2010 in a new terrorism cell case that included religious figures and activists. They were released in 2011 with the eruption of the February 14 uprising.

However, Sadiq's freedom did not last long, and he was arrested again, twice, after the entry of the Peninsula Shield forces. But his struggle with Sickle Cell Disease, which never left him, played a significant role in his ability to escape, while receiving treatment in the hospital.

Sadiq suffered from birdshot injuries that affected his eye. His friends advised him to leave Bahrain for treatment, as it was not possible for him to be treated in the country while being pursued by the authorities. Thus, he left the country in 2013, along with other fugitives.

Sadiq Al-Hayki headed to Iran, where doctors informed him that his retina was completely damaged and could not be treated by transplanting a new one.

Losing one eye and enduring severe bouts of Sickler, he attempted to return to Bahrain through the same route he took to Iran. Still, his friends convinced him to reconsider. Sadiq continued to suffer the pains of exile and the torment of Sickle Cell Disease and the loss of one eye, until he left this world, witnessing the suffering of his homeland under a merciless regime.

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