9 August 2018, London based Bahraini activist, Ali Mushaima, is on the second week of his hunger strike, which began on the 1st of August, to help save his father, Hassan Mushaima, 70 year-old political prisoner, who is being denied vital medical care by the Bahraini authorities because he refuses to be shackled and humiliated in the process. These measures violate his rights under UN guidance, known as Mandela Rules. While Hassan Mushaima was given some of his medication, Ali Mushaima is adamant to continue his hunger strike until his father is given his complete rights.
Yesterday, Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, co-leaders of The Green Party, wrote to the FCO MENA Minister Alistair Burt, asking him to “urgently intervene with the Bahraini authorities to ensure Mr. Mushaima’s fundamental human rights are unconditionally guaranteed as a matter of priority”. They point out that “it’s shameful Ali Mushaima has had to resort to a hunger strike in order to raise awareness of his father’s situation”.
Ali Mushaima has been on hunger strike for 7 days for his father Hassan, a political prisoner in Bahrain denied vital medical care.@CarolineLucas and I have written to @AlistairBurtUK urging him to intervene so human rights are upheld. #FreeHassanMushaima https://t.co/fAv70RJEID pic.twitter.com/0Tp3VzZkeX
— Jonathan Bartley (@jon_bartley) August 8, 2018
The FCO Minister Alistair Burt wrote to Ali Mushaima encouraging him to report his concerns regarding the degrading treatment of his father in detention to the appropriate oversight bodies in Bahrain. The Minister failed to criticise of condemn the Bahraini authorities in his response. One of these bodies is the National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR), who issued a statement on August 7 whitewashing the abuses committed by the authorities. The leaders of The Green Party point out that “these human rights oversight bodies have been criticised widely by the international community for not acting independently of the Bahraini government”; “they have not made any attempt to visit Mr. Mushaima to hear about the reasons behind his refusal of medical care ie that it is conditional on him agreeing to degrading treatment”.
The NIHR is a beneficiary of the UK’s technical assistance program to Bahrain, which exceeds over five million pounds. By clearing the Bahraini authorities of any violations of human rights without effectively investigating the situation, they show their complicity in the abuses committed against Hassan.
Ali said: “I am on the second week of my hunger strike, having left my home, my wife, and my kids, sleeping on the street outside the Bahraini embassy to demands to guarantee the most basic human rights for my father. My body is weakening, but I am determined to ensure that my father is treated with dignity. It is time for the UK government to put an end to his suffering and end their complicity to these abuses.”
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD, said: “The FCO continues to disregard the severity of the human rights abuses committed against Hassan Mushaima by their ally, Bahrain. The FCO’s advice to resort to these oversight bodies, at a time when they are actively complicit Hassan Mushaima’s ordeal speaks to the role of the UK government in condoning these crimes and the bodies responsible for their cover up. This complicity must come to an end.”