Paris, 2 February 2012 – FIDH expresses its utmost concern about acts of continued repression on political prisoners that have entered in a hunger strike to protest their continued arbitrary detention as well as the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
FIDH has been informed that around 250 political prisoners started a widespread national hunger strike onJanuary 29, 2012, after the prominent 14 political and human rights activists, who were arbitrarly detained since March 2011, announced they will begin a hunger strike in the central Jaw prison.
According to the information received, as a response to the hunger strike, part number 4 of the central Jaw prison where the above-mentionned detainees are kept, was reportedly teargassed. A number of them were severely beaten and others were put in solitary confinement. Moreover, those detainees are no longer allowed to make any phone calls, and continue to be denied acess to the designated outdoors areas of the prison.
After detainees from the Dry Docks prison announced that they would join the hunger strike, a number of prisoners from different areas in Bahrain were reportedly told that they would be released if they plead for the King’s forgiveness, in addition to saying that they are against the strike and the protests. A number of those who had refused to do so were reportedly beaten severely to the extent that they had to be transferred to the hospital. Some of them called their families informing them they were forced to give apologies on camera.
FIDH calls upon the Bahraini authorities to take all necessary measures to put an end to these acts of repression and to order a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned acts, the result of which must be made public, and those responsible of such acts must be held accountable.