Bahraini Cleric: Al Khalifa Regime Seeking to Deny Torture of Prisoners

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A senior Bahraini Islamic leader said the ruling Al Khalifa regime is making every effort to cover up the torture of political prisoners in the country.

Addressing a large congregation of Bahraini people in Diraz village on the northwest coast of Bahrain on Friday, Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem touched upon the recent events in Jau prison south of Manama in Bahrain, and said human rights reports indicate that the detainees are tortured but the Bahraini authorities have always denied the issue.

Sheikh Issa Qassem also pointed to the martyrdom of Abdul-Aziz al-Abbar, 27, the latest victim of the regime’s deadly crackdown on protesters, and said that the Al Khalifa regime is trying to avoid accepting the responsibility for the martyrdom of al-Abbar.

He died on April 18, after 55 days in coma from injuries he suffered during a rally held in late February in Sa’ar, a residential area west of Manama.

Meantime, opposition leaders have started a mass hunger strike at Al Wefaq headquarters in Bilad Qadeem, suburb of Manama, to express solidarity with prisoners in Jau prison.

The prisoners have been on hunger strike for several days now, protesting the inhumane and brutal terrorism they are subjected to by police officers in the jail.

Sheik Ali Salman, the Secretary-General of Al Wefaq party, demanded the authorities to reveal the exact number of prisoners who are put in overcrowded cells.

He said prisons have become so overcrowded that some prisoners sleep in the corridors and bathrooms.

“All international rights NGOs have confirmed the use of torture in Bahrain jails,” Salman added.

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