On Friday evening, protesters staged rallies under the motto “Friday of Prisoners’ Rage” to denounce Bahraini authorities’ mistreatment of jailed activists, and their miserable conditions at detention centers especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The demonstrators carried Bahrain’s national flags and chanted anti-regime slogans in the villages of al-Malkiya, al-Maqsha, Southern Sehla, Diraz, Bu Quwah and al-Dair as they called for the immediate release of the inmates.
The participants held Bahrain’s monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah fully responsible for the wellbeing of prisoners of conscience being kept behind bars in crowded jails.
The Protesters said the coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated the situation of the prisoners – some of whom have lost their lives to the highly contagious respiratory disease.
Bahrainis also held similar demonstrations in the villages of Abu Saiba, Shakhurah, al-Markh, Nuwaidrat, Shahrakan and Tubli as well as Salmabad and Sanad towns, where they held up the pictures of their imprisoned loved ones as well as those of prominent opposition figures, including Zakia al-Barbouri, who was charged to five years in prison on February 6, 2019, and had her citizenship revoked in a politically-motivated case.
On Thursday, Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim warned that political dissidents in Bahraini prisons are facing deaths and demanded their immediate release.
In a statement carried by Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website, the senior cleric called on the ruling Al Khalifa regime to choose between the deaths of the dissident inmates and their release.
“One of the worst things that the government of Bahrain does is to keep prisoners as leverage for political bargaining, especially now that the coronavirus [pandemic] is attacking [Bahrain's] prisons with full force,” the senior cleric added.
UN expert calls on Bahrain to release human rights defender
A United Nations expert has called on Bahraini regime to release prominent jailed Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja before his 60th birthday next week.
“He's serving a life sentence in prison for peacefully defending the rights of others,” Mary Lawlor, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said in a video message posted to Twitter on Friday.
She added, “He's been given an unfair trial and details of his torture have been corroborated by an independent commission of inquiry.”