17 October 2012

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is monitoring with concern the case of an 18-year-old sickle cell prisoner, Sadeq Al Haiki. Sadeq was violently arrested and tortured during a peaceful protest held demanding self-determination. He is currently in the hospital seriously ill, unable to talk or move and is being denied adequate medical care by authorities.

Sadeq Al Haiki, 18 years old, was allegedly beaten violently by riot police and left on the streets of Manama during the peaceful protest held on 12 October 2012 demanding self-determination and democracy. He was found severely fatigued and was provided with first aid by those who found him. On his way out of Manama, he was again arrested along with five others at a checkpoint. According to his family, he was taken to Al Qudaibiya police station where he was subjected to severe torture and beating causing him to faint. Sadeq was then transferred to the Emergency unit in the Salmaniya Hospital under very tight security. He was reportedly further beaten and cursed in the hospital at midnight when an intelligence officer paid him a visit and accused him of pretending to be sick. Sadeq has a severe case of sickle cell. His family was not allowed any visitation, worried about her son, Sadeq’s mother, went to the hospital to see him where she was met with five security officers. She was threatened by the officers guarding her son and was told to leave. They also told her that she is not allowed to see her son or bring him food. She reported that Sadeq was in a serious pain that he was not able to move or talk. His family is very concerned over his wellbeing. Also, the head of BCHR documentation and monitoring, Said Yousif, visited Sadeq and reported that he is very ill and needs to be transferred to Kanoo hospital for a better medical care.

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” Denying prisoners from adequate health and medical care is a clear breach of international laws which guarantees the right to treatment even in time of war, yet in Bahrain this right is ignored constantly which lead to the death of Mohammed Mushaima , a 22 year old prisoner of conscience, who died of sickle cell because of the lack of proper medical care whilst in detention.

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights calls on the international community and the governments of the US, UK and other close allies of Bahrain to put pressure on the government to immediately:

• To immediately provide the necessary treatment to Sadeq Al Haiki and all other prisoners in need of medical care in the prisons of Bahrain • For the authorities in Bahrain to commit to international conventions which they have ratified, especially the rights of prisoners to receive full medical care • The release of Sadeq Al Haiki and all other prisoners of conscience who were arrested because of their political beliefs and for excising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly • Accountability against those involved in torture, bringing them to a fair and independent judiciary