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Main opposition group al-Wefaq voices concern over health of political detainees in Bahrain

Protesters dodge teargas canisters amid clashes with regime forces during an anti-Israel rally on Sitra Island, south of the Bahraini capital Manama, on October 1, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, has voiced concern over the fate of political detainees in the kingdom as seriously ill prisoners are being denied essential and adequate medical treatment.

In a statement on Tuesday, al-Wefaq reaffirmed its call for the immediate release of political detainees in the notorious Qurain military prison, including Mohammed Abdulhassan al-Metghawi, Fadhil al-Sayed Abbas Radhi, Al-Sayed Alawi Hussein, Mubarak Adel Mubarak Mohanna, and Mohammed Abdulhussein Saleh al-Shehabi, Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.

The statement came as Fadhil al-Sayed Abbas Radhi has launched a hunger strike to protest against lack of proper medical treatment for his case.

Al-Wefaq also urged international rights groups to visit the notorious prison and inspect the conditions of detention for the “forgotten” detainees.

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 the imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

King Hamad ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.

Bahrain has come under pressure from human rights organizations over its prison conditions, including overcrowding, poor sanitation, and lack of medical care.

Back in April, Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim said drawing up a new constitution was the only way out of the political crisis in the protest-hit tiny kingdom, urging the regime in Manama to pursue an agreement with the Bahraini opposition instead of increasingly suppressing dissent.

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011.

The participants demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent.

On June 14, 2016, the Bahraini Justice Ministry suspended the activities of al-Wefaq, and on July 17, 2016, the Bahraini High Administrative Court ordered the dissolution of the opposition party and the seizure of its funds.

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