HungerStrike for Bahrain: Free Hussain

April 17, 2011 at 9:20 am (Middle East) (, , , , , , , )


 March 16th, 2011, my brother Hussain was driving back home along with my cousin Ebrahim in his new Mazda Zoom 6 car. Last call with my dad, 3pm; his phone was shut after that and could not reach him. Next thing we know, he and his car disappeared. For 5 days, we had no clue where he was and police stations refused to give out any information. This was the most difficult period in my life. My mind got stroke with all kind of imaginations and our house was filled with grieve. On the 6th day, we received a call from Nuaim Police station saying he is detained with no further information, they allowed him to speak with mom for half a minute only, he said “I am fine, you guys take care of yourself.” Then, we were allowed to bring him some cloths but not see him. By yesterday, Hussain completed 1 full month in detention and we are yet to be allowed to see him, informed of why he is arrested, nor allowed to nominate a lawyer to defend a case.

Bahrain is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states “Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.” Article 8 – 2

March 16th, 2011, Bahrain forces composing of both Bahraini Army and Police cracked down the one-month long pro-democracy protests that swept Bahrain capital Manama. The protests were inspired by the recent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. The crackdown was in line with the activation of the National Safety Law, in an intent to shut down demonstrations by force and also open back the roads blocked by the extremists. Protestors contained people from various lines of thoughts and various levels of demands, moderates (the great majority) asking for “constitutional monarchy” and extremists asking for a “Republic.” The latter was rather a stupid dream that blew things out of propotion for the great majority of protestors, and gave the state an excuse to break into the Pearl under cover of the GCC peninsula shield forces “protecting major Bahraini installations.” The government, through its official media outlets and pro-gov newspapers, presented the crackdown as a “Victory” and saved no effort to retaliate from anyone who sympathized with the protests, including Lawyers, Doctors, Human Rights Activists, teachers, sportsmen, etc, by mass-firings and detentions. Since then, Bahrain has become to many people, a state of fear.

Since the crackdown, 4 Bahrainis died in state detentions in less than 2 weeks. The pictures of the diseased showed clear marks of torture, despite official statements linking death cause to (2) sickle-cell (1) kidney failure (1) “Created chaos, which led security forces to bring the situation under control.” This would violate Article 7 of ICCPR “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.” I very much welcomed Sh. Abdulateef Almahmood’s call for independent investigation into these deaths.

Seeing these happening, I am very worried for my brother and cousin’s health. Hussain and I are very close, and despite our continuous fights we come back on terms very shortly. We usually play tennis every Friday, and I just miss it. I must admit, I never won over Hussain in any game. He has always been, “Victorious.” Hussain is an Auditor for a top 4 firm; he topped his accounting class in Ahlia University. A Real Madrid and Roger Federer fan, Hussain has many hobbies, to name few: poetry, football, tennis, basketball, volleyball, travel,  etc. Hussain had no political affiliations, and like every other Bahraini, we were all observing what’s happening on a daily basis, and trying to bridge the gap between the two camps.

In light of the above, and in solidarity with Hussain, other innocents who are detained for no-reason, and to the extrajudicial killings, I am joining the Hunger Strike along many Bahrainis starting Today.


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