23 March 2018 – Female prisoner Medina Ali (28) on the second day of her hunger strike against ill-treatment in Isa Town Prison was stripped naked in a humiliating manner after a family visit, this considered to be unprecedented,. “This is one of the many examples of how reprisals against political prisoners are escalating in Bahrain” the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said today.
Medina, who is serving a 3-year sentence on charges related to political unrest, declared a hunger strike on 22 March, thereby joining the protest started by her inmate Hajer Mansoor Hassan (49), against the ill- treatment of political prisoners in Isa Town.
A credible source has informed BIRD that Medina’s health has rapidly deteriorated. Madina said “I am feeling much weaker compared to last time I was on hunger strike”. She is experiencing dizziness, severe stomach pains, and as she is only drinking water, her blood sugars have reached a dangerous level of 2 mmol/L (normal levels while fasting range between 4 and 6 mmol/L).
Meanwhile, punitive measures against those categorised as political prisoners continue to intensify in Isa Town. On Monday 19 March, after visiting her family, BIRD learned she was strip searched by prison authorities. After removing her clothes off, they threw her garments on the floor in front of her. “No one should accept having to be completely stripped”, Madina said.
Medina expressed she was the only prisoner who was treated in a degrading and humiliating manner, because she is considered a political prisoner. She reported that another inmate who was there in that moment underwent a standard search procedure.
Major Maryam Al-Bardouli, Head of the Center for Reform, Rehabilitation and Women’s Custody in Isa Town repeatedly questioned Medina about why she exposed how inmates are treated by the prison authorities, to which Medina responded, “I cannot remain silent”.
Major Al-Bardouli has threatened to punish Medina, by revoking her family visitation and phone calls. Medina and Hajer are the current target of prison authorities in Isa Town, as they further expose the ill-treatment they are being subjected to. According to Major Al-Bardouli, external pressure will not improve their treatment.
Hajer Mansoor Hassan
Meanwhile, Hajer Mansoor Hassan (49), mother-in-law of prominent UK-based activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei is currently at the Ministry of Interior “Al-Qalaa” clinic, as her health has sharply deteriorated. Credible sources said her liver and brain cells are being affected by her hunger strike.
Since yesterday, Hajer’s sugar levels have reached a critical stage of only 2 mmol/L. Her low pressure and a kidney inflammation required immediate hospitalisation, and cannot yet leave the hospital.
Hajer’s doctor has advised her to end the hunger strike, however, Hajer refuses to end her strike until she receives assurances of being treated in a humane manner. The doctor reassured Hajer and told her he would speak with prison authorities and encourage them to meet her demands.
Read More about the Hunger Strike in Isa Town: