BYSHR | Bahrain: Sentencing Two Activists with 5 Years in Prison and Neglecting the Torture and Abuse
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights expresses its deep concern for sentencing two activists today – 28 April 2014 – with 5 years in prison with the charges of ‘attempting to plant an explosive device in the Formula 1 racetrack’ and ‘being affiliated with the membership of a terrorist group’.
Nafeesa Al-Asfoor (31 years) and Rihanna Al-Mousawi (38 years) were arrested on 20 April 2013 near the Grand Prix racetrack while they were participating in a protest against the arrest of prominent Bahraini activists, among them the activist Zaynab Al-Khawaja. The two informed their families that they were subjected to torture and other cruel mistreatment on the hands of the police during the interrogation. They were forced to sign confessions which they retracted later during the interrogation at the Public Prosecution. Rihanna Al-Mousawi is being trialled in another case known as the case of the ‘14 February Coalition cell’. During her first court sessions in July 2013, Rihanna Al-Mousawi told the Court that she was subjected to torture and she was threatened with rape.
The Bahraini Authorities did not allow the lawyers to attend the investigation session with them at the Criminal Investigation Department or to contact their families after their arrest.
Nafeesa’s family had previously expressed its fear to the BYSHR regarding the safety of their daughter as she suffers from several illnesses, and she has not been provided with the necessary medical care. The family also confirmed that she had lost consciousness several times in prison and was taken to hospital. Nafeesa was also forced to sign papers that state that she refuses medical care.
On 29 September 2013, the Supreme Criminal Court sentenced Rihanna Al-Mousawi with 5 years in prison in the case of the ‘14 February Coalition cell’.
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights demands:
- Release the prisoners who were arrested on charges related to freedom of assembly and expression;
- guarantee fair trials for all prisoners and put an end to the politically-motivated trials.
- Investigate the torture cases.