Amnesty urges Bahrain regime to lift travel ban on ailing former lawmaker

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this undated picture, former Bahraini lawmaker Osama Jaber Muhana al-Tamimi is lying on a bed at a hospital in Manama, Bahrain. (Photo via Twitter)

Amnesty International has called on Bahraini officials to put an end to their continued harassment of former legislator Osama Jaber Muhana al-Tamimi, and to allow him to travel abroad for medical treatment after he suffered a stroke following his arrest last month.

The London-based rights group said  on Twitter Tuesday that al-Tamimi had a stroke on August 6, and was taken to Salmaniya Medical Complex.

He was released by the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) five days later. In the early hours of August 16, he attempted to leave Bahrain to Oman with his family.

The authorities at Bahrain International Airport prevented them from travelling, citing a travel ban imposed by the public prosecution. The same day, while he was receiving private medical treatment, police surrounded his home and served him with summons to appear at the al-Hoora police station.

On August 18, al-Tamimi attended the summons accompanied by his lawyer. As his health deteriorated, he was not interrogated, and he was immediately transferred by ambulance to hospital again.

Since then, he has suffered kidney failure, for which he is now undergoing dialysis.

His home is permanently under surveillance by agents of the so-called State Security, who have been harassing members of his family. Police detained him again on August 29 after checking out of a medical clinic, citing that he would be interrogated by a forgery expert.

Amnesty International called on the Manama regime to order a halt to the harassment of al-Tamimi and his family, and to guarantee that pending his trial.

It also urges Bahraini authorities to lift the travel ban imposed on him if he requires specialist medical treatment abroad.

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 regime 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.

On March 5, 2017, 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, 2017.

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