A Saudi court of Appeal upheld the death sentence of two death-row Bahraini nationals yesterday. Jaafar Sultan and Sadiq Thamer’s case can be appealed within a month by Saudi’s Supreme Court.
The two young men were arrested on May 8, 2015 on what are said to be politically-motivated allegations. According to their families, they weren’t allowed to communicate with them for 110 days after their disappearance. Then, they spent more than 6 years in Saudi prisons before being handed the death penalty.
Meanwhile, Bahrainis are preparing to mark 4 years since the arbitrary execution of Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima, and Ali al-Singace. The three were torture victims convicted on trumped-up terrorism charges. Both UN officials and rights groups described the executions as “extrajudicial killings.”
According to Bahrain’s top opposition bloc Al-Wefaq’s latest report, more than 36 rights violations have been recorded in the first week of January 2022.
Al Wefaq said that Manama’s security forces made 6 arbitrary arrests; 5 of those detained are minors (among them 3 brothers). The youngest is 14 years old and all others are said to be 15.
The mother of the 3 minors, who have been detained since late December, still doesn’t know what crimes her children are being accused of committing.
The minors had their detention extended on 3 separate occasions now, and the public prosecutor’s office is reportedly accusing them of attacking a local police station in Bahrain’s Sitra.
Al Wefaq’s report also documents 15 violations against 8 detainees housed in Bahrain’s notorious Jaw Prison, including willful medical negligence and other forms of ill-treatment.
Among these is Yasser Ahmed, a political prisoner whose health is said to be deteriorating. The 49-year-old is reportedly suffering from mental health issues that have been compounded by his imprisonment. He is serving a life sentence in Jaw Prison.
Meanwhile, the latest coronavirus infections are piling up in Bahrain with the 7-day average more than doubling since the start of 2020. More than 1,500 new cases, and several deaths were recorded in 1 week.
Mother of political prisoner Muhammad Saleh Al-Makki revealed that she hasn’t seen her son since he contracted COVID19 in March 2020, when prison authorities banned family visits and refused ever-since to grant detainees access to regular calls. Al-Makki has been in prison for the last five years and is serving a life sentence.
In a video shared via social media, his mother says she is worried about him contracting the Omicron variant.
For her part, Mustafa Yahya Majid’s mother also called for the release of her son amid mounting fears over the spread of the Omicron Variant.
Although Mustafa suffers from a chronic heart disease and the fact that he served more than 8 years of his 15-year prison term, he wasn’t among the detainees released on humanitarian grounds.
This tactic is very effective in causing anxiety among the families of political prisoners, especially of ill detainees.
The tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, with a population of just over 1.7 million, has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of COVID19 infections.
Due to medical negligence, several inmates passed away in prisoners died in 2021. One of them was 48-year-old political prisoner Husain Barakat.