A new report has revealed that a Bahraini political dissident currently held at the notorious Jaw Prison has been tormented as the ruling Al Khalifah regime continues to clamp down on opposition figures for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.
Informed sources, requesting not to be named, told Britain-based Arabic-language Bahrain al-Youm news agency that policeman Mohammed Atef entered the cell of 21-year-old Yousef Ali Riza at the notorious Jaw Prison, south of capital Manama, early last month as he was sleeping and touched his leg.
The police officer, confronted by Yousef, later alleged that the young prisoner had been trying to assault him.
Prison officials removed Yousef from his cell and placed him in solitary confinement, where he was purportedly stripped of his clothes and sexually harassed.
The sources noted that authorities at Jaw Prison have transformed solitary cells into torture chambers in the absence of closed-circuit television cameras.
Even though Yousef has been returned to his cell, he is suffering from the effects of torture. He has been using cotton wool balls over the past few days to stop bleeding from his ear.
The notorious Jaw Prison, Bahrain’s central detention facility, is where Bahraini regime officials keep hundreds of people behind bars for their participation in peaceful pro-democracy rallies.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.