Rights groups and family members of Bahraini opposition leader Hassan Mushaima sound alarm about his deteriorating health

11 December 2023, Bahraini authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Hassan Mushaima, a prominent opposition leader imprisoned since 2011, 16 rights groups said today in a letter sent to the King and Crown Prince of Bahrain, the letter is signed by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others.

Mushaima, 75, is Bahrain’s oldest political prisoner and torture survivor, who is currently suffering from severe kidney damage after years of being denied access to adequate medical treatment by Bahraini authorities, despite being held in a medical facility since July 2021.

His family fears that he is nearing end-stage kidney failure and doctors are refusing to provide them with information regarding the level of his kidney damage after a doctor told Mr Mushaima that this information could not be disclosed without the permission of the Interior Ministry.

His son, Ali Mushaima commented: “We are being kept in the dark about my father’s medical condition, and are forced to fear the worst. Thinking that in his seventies, he will have to spend the rest of his life on dialysis while imprisoned is a nightmare.”

Niku Jafarnia, Bahrain and Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch said: “Bahraini authorities have already wrongfully taken 12 years of Mr. Mushaima’s life from him and his family,”

She added: “They should immediately release this 75-year-old man and allow him to manage his deteriorating health from the comfort of his home.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, advocacy director at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy commented: “Before it’s too late, Bahrain’s allies in the UK, who spend millions on training the institutions responsible for Hassan Mushaima’s imprisonment, must use their leverage to call for his immediate and unconditional release.”

Read the letter here

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