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Bahraini political prisoners suffering from long-lasting effects of torture: Report

A file photo shows oor conditions of detention in Bahrain’s notorious Jau Prison, south of the capital, Manama.

A new report reveals that political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Bahrain are suffering from the long-term effects of torture during their arrest, interrogation, and imprisonment, as the Al Khalifah regime continues to terrorize them in one way or another.

In a damning report released on Monday, the non-profit Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) said it had found through interviews and medical reports that many victims were unable to resume a normal life due to “invisible wounds” that persist years after mistreatment.

The psychological effect of torture inevitably spills into the social life of the victims.

One of the victims told the organization that he was detained while taking a shower and was dragged naked on the street, where he was also beaten harshly.

He developed irritability and a deep-seated fear of being rearrested or of something happening to his family members. Fear of reprisal due to threats from the Manama regime forces later prevented him from attending therapy.

A female victim, who was forced to strip naked during an interrogation and sexually assaulted, whipped, insulted, and threatened with rape and the murder of her children, said she experienced self-hatred and contemplated suicide following the event.

Men were less likely to seek support out of a desire to appear “strong” and “tough”, the report said, while female survivors of rape struggled to resume social and intimate relationships.

Elsewhere in the report, the organization pointed out that mental health services are unavailable in prisons, where Bahraini authorities practice “extreme forms of medical negligence”, denying prisoners their basic rights.

The organization also argued Bahrain should pay reparations for victims of torture “as well as psychological support programs for the families of victims in order to raise awareness and empower them to create a safe environment for the victims”.

Last month, informed sources warned about inhumane conditions at Bahrain’s notorious Jau Prison, saying more than a dozen prisoners have been brutally beaten and subjected to various forms of physical torture in the detention center.

Last September, an independent human rights organization raised the alarm over ‘inhumane conditions’ at Bahrain’s Jau Prison, saying prisoners were exposed to various forms of physical and mental torture at the jail.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said officials at the prison had ramped up their repressive measures and harassment of imprisoned political dissidents.

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

People demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow the establishment of a just system representing all Bahrainis.

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

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