Bahraini Authorities Are Killing My 70 year-old Father: Help Me Save Him
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Today marks the seventh day of my hunger strike to save my imprisoned father. My body may be weakening, but my resolve remains strong.
My father, Hassan Mushaima, is 70 years old and is currently rotting away in a Bahraini prison. He is a victim of torture to the Bahraini government’s brutal crackdown on civil society.
My father is serving life imprisonment simply for his involvement in the Bahraini pro-democracy movement during the Arab Spring in 2011. As a leader of the political opposition, he has always fought to promote human rights in Bahrain. Amnesty International has labelled my father a ‘prisoner of conscience’ as his life’s work is unfortunately the cause of his current suffering.
Bahraini authorities seem determined to inflict a slow and painful death upon my father. Amnesty International has condemned the ‘degrading treatment’ that is putting his life at risk. My father is being deprived of adequate medical attention solely on account of his status as a political prisoner. Further restrictions imposed last week require prisoners to visit the prison clinic in handcuffs and prison-authorised criminal uniform if they want to receive medication
As a survivor of lymphoma cancer, my father requires screening every six months, yet my father’s last check up occurred in September 2016. He also suffers many chronic illnesses, including diabetes, gout, and erratic blood pressure. He requires around ten different prescribed medications on a daily basis.
His desire to be treated with respect is putting his life at risk. He has been deprived of this medication because he refuses to attend the medical clinic in handcuffs. My family has not even been able to visit him since February 2017 as prison authorities have refused to authorise family visitation.
The UK government is complicit to this degrading treatment. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has invested £5 million into its technical assistance programme, which aims to provide justice reform in Bahrain by training local institutions and officials. I have raised my father’s case many times by contacting my local MP, writing to Parliamentary committees, and asking Ministers at the FCO directly. So far, the FCO has done nothing to help.
I want to end my father’s suffering. The Bahraini authorities and the UK government have paid little regard to his ordeal. To save his life, I have taken matters into my own hands by publicising his struggle in the Guardian, and embarking on a hunger strike and camping outside of the Bahraini Embassy at 30 Belgravia Square, London.
But I still need your help to save him.
Please sign and share this petition to end the degrading treatment of my father and ensure his unconditional release. You can also help by:
- Writing to your local MP to raise my father’s case in Parliament
- Tweeting about my hunger strike and my father’s degrading treatment by using the hashtag #FreeHassanMushaima and tagging me (@AMushaima), the Bahraini Embassy in London (@BahrainEmbUK), the Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior (@moi_bahrain) And the FCO (@FCOHumanRights).
- Share my opinion piece at the Guardian on social media.
- Paying me a visit! I am camping outside the Embassy of Bahrain at 30 Belgravia Square, London. Feel free to take a picture with me and post it on social media.
His release will strengthen our fight to end the crackdown against political activists and human rights defenders in Bahrain. Thank you for joining my campaign to #FreeHassanMushaima.
This petition has been launched by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy on behalf of Ali Mushaima.
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