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An ally of the UK, Bahrain is practicing collective punishment unabated

4 9 7

The start of July has been a day-by-day microcosm of the struggles of Bahraini activists against one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Only thanks to the reporting of London-based activist and exile, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, is the world able to hear these kind of stories. But Alwadaei’s human rights activism, undertaken through his organisation the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), based here in Britain, is exacting a tough price on his family, stuck in Bahrain.

His mother-in-law, Hajer Mansoor, is presently a political prisoner in Isa Town Prison Centre. Her less-than-charming keeper is a certain Major Maryam Albardoli, who runs the prison. Last Thursday, Major Albardoli told her charge – “I don’t care if people call me a torturer, but you must stop speaking out about what happens inside the prison.”

Major Albardoli threatened to punish Hajer if she continued to speak about the abuses she suffers and the general conditions of the prison.

She stripped Hajer of her weekly visitation rights, and ordered a guard, known in reports only as “Officer Hala”, to turn her husband, brothers and wheelchair-bound 90-year-old mother away at the gates.

The dutiful guard scuttled outside when they arrived and lied – saying Hajer couldn’t attend visitation because she had an appointment at Al-Qalaa Clinic. Then he asked that the family should leave. Then phone calls to the prison started........

© Middle East Monitor