Island of Torture: Health of Prisoner Deteriorates as Appeal Looms
· by josephsabroski ·
“One minute will make a difference.”
The span of sixty seconds could mean life or death for the political prisoner Hussain Hubail, according to an anonymous source close to him. Hussain is a Bahraini photojournalist who, outrageously, was sentenced by kangaroo court to five years in prison on the bogus charges of “belonging to the 14 February media network,” “calling for and participating in illegal demonstrations“, “inciting hatred of the government” and “being in contact with government opponents in exile“, on April 28.
But his prison sentence could be the least of his problems. Ever since his enforced disappearance last August by the Bahraini security forces, he has been repeatedly denied urgent healthcare for a heart condition that causes shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and fainting, according to the source I spoke with. It could turn out to be deadly if not given the proper treatment. Amnesty International reported on his deteriorating health as early as November 5 of last year, and Reporters Without Borders also called on the UN special rapporteurs on freedom of expression and protection against torture to investigate his case along with two other Bahraini news providers.
Of course, the Bahraini government itself didn’t see fit to investigate Hussain’s own allegations that he was tortured, forced to listen to the torture of the blogger Mohammed Hassan, and then coerced into signing a confession that he was not even allowed to read.
Throughout his nine-month detention before being handed his sentence, Hussain’s dire health condition has been basically ignored. He was at first allowed to be seen at Salmaniya Hospital but was not allowed to return for a follow-up that the hospital recommended. Since then, the prison administered unidentified medications to him on a random basis.