Three Depressing Stories from Jail: Nafisa, Nadia and Rihana

2013-08-22 - 12:55 ص

Bahraini Mirror (Exclusive): Three detainees live in one prison cell: Nafisa Al-Asfoor, Nadia Ali Youssef, and Rihana Al-Mousawi, each individually faces convictions that they never imagined, not even as a joke. But they suddenly found themselves on that path, charged and being tried of security and terrorist charges.

Those three detainees do not complain of mistreatment in the detention centre.. However, they live tough physiological conditions, which will lead to almost a complete breakdown that threatens their well-being.

 Nafisa Al-Asfoor

Nafisa has long lived in a state of psychological distress and worries, a case similar to constant nervousness, and closer to eruption, she hardly ever speaks words just screams, which are guided by a stream of insults and verbal abuse toward everything, even directing them to her cellmate sometimes, while also experiencing repeated fainting. 

Nafisa (31 years old) now walks with a casted leg, a result of aggressively kicking a locker during one of her fits, it swelled intensely, and she refused to go to the doctor in the Fortress, so she remained in the same condition until the swell and pain increased and was no longer able to move. It was later confirmed that the ‘kick’ caused a fracture of the bone. Apparently, Nafisa does not need a cast to heal her fractured bone, but something to heal her fractured soul.

Nafisa, the woman who went to protest peacefully at the Formula One Circuit on 18  April 2013, now faces charges of belonging to a terrorist group aiming to overthrow the regime, so how does not everything inside of her break down? And how does not it get to her head, and not only in her temper?

Nafisa had previously been cured of a malignant tumor in her breast, it seems that the psychological state that she had formerly lived in had affected her health overall, and she began to feel the symptoms of that the disease were coming back. Nafisa refuses to go to a Ministry of Interior doctor, she refuses to go to the Fortress clinic, and she is requesting to be taken to a specialist at Salmaniya Hospital, nevertheless the prisons administration is still refusing her request of taking her there. This is what makes her more unstable and aggressive inside the detention. There are worries of an unknown breakdown with unrecognizable consequences.

 Nadia Ali Yousef

Nadia is suffering an exhausting and demanding condition.  She is carrying the weight of her pregnant body that has come to its final weeks, and a heart bearing the absence of a husband who is suffering behind bars too. No one is capable of helping her take off any of her weighty burdens. Nadia is unable to communicate with her husband at a time that she would desperately need if she were in any normal situation, let alone in this exceptional one. She lives one of the worst emotional conditions. According to her cellmates, Nadia rarely contacts her.

As if she were a miserable criminal, Nadia is waiting the imminent arrival of her baby that she will deliver in the darkness of the cell, leaving him far away from the joy of the family and the warmth of friends, and above all, distant from the fatherly kindness. Her dreadful crime was while passing through a checkpoint in the area of Bani Jamra on 2 June 2013, when it was surrounded by police forces after the Ministry of Interior had announced that a bomb exploded targeting its affiliates. Nadia had just known about her husband ((Abed Ali Youssef Saleh)’s arrest. At the checkpoint a policeman insulted and swore at her, in which she replied back.  He took her ID card. When she went to collect her card from Budaya Police Station, two female officers approached her and began beating and insulting her, and later arrested her. Public Prosecution charged her of insulting a police officer and kicking her in the abdomen. A video went viral on social networking media showed Nadia handcuffed at Salmaniya Hospital after her health got worse.

Nadia now lives in despair that is dominating her most of the time, with overwhelming incidents of screaming and fainting. There is fear that it may transform into a depression disorder, especially with the last month of the heavy pregnancy, and anxiety that the time of birth is closing in, amid silence of human rights violations in Bahrain.

 Rihana Al-Mousawi

It seems that Rihana Al-Mousawi (37 years) is the strongest among her friends in the cell, however, she is not in the best of her states. Her usual quiet self helps her cope with the situation and most of her repressed pain. She tries to soothe the misery of her friends but she does not succeed most of the time, as she is not a psychotherapist. She tries to communicate positively with everyone inside the detention and she receives good treatment from the guards, especially after the word had spread of her being stripped of her clothes in the early stages of her detention.

 After she was arrested at Formula One Circuit for illegal gathering, Rihana did not expect her case would evolve in the wink of an eye to a charge of affiliating to a terrorist cell. Rihana still does not comprehend how the illegal gathering turned into such an unimaginable charge, and how somebody could see her and know her serenity and accuse her of something that does not even coincide with her personality, even for fabrication purposes.

Recently, Rihana found red rashes on her body. They spread to her hands and legs. Nobody knows what they are and what caused them. She was observed by a doctor who examined her. No result has been determined yet. The depressing atmosphere that Rihana and her friends live, and what is feared to be the beginning of a nervous breakdown, is affecting them negatively.

That is one side of three women’s stories that suddenly found themselves in confinement, that suddenly found themselves charged, and suddenly found themselves as offenders awaiting sentences that exclude criminals and convict people of conscious. This comes as no surprise. 



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