Monday, August 8, 2011

Freed ex-Bahraini MPs tortured in prison

Matar Matar, along with a number of anti-regime detainees in Bahrain, was released on August 7, 2011.

Source: Press TV

Two newly-released former Bahraini opposition lawmakers say they have been tortured while in detention by the regime forces.

Jawad Fairouz and Matar Matar were among the prisoners that gained freedom on Sunday. They told British media that they were beaten up several times during more than two months in custody.

Maryam al-Khawaja of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) told Press TV on Monday that around 147 detainees were released by the Al Khalifa regime.

The two lawmakers were arrested in May after resigning from parliament in protest against the regime's Saudi-backed brutal crackdown on demonstrators.

Human rights lawyer Mohammed al-Tajer, detained in April, was also among those just released.

Scores of people have been killed and many more have been arrested and tortured in prisons in a government-sanctioned crackdown on peaceful protests since the beginning of demonstrations in Bahrain in February.

Al-Khawaja also told Press TV that among the protesters that were freed was a 14-year-old boy.

The BCHR has expressed concerns about the condition of young detainees, stating that it has received reports that young boys are being placed in cells holding “drug-related prisoners.”

According to the BCHR, there are currently over 1,000 political detainees inside the country's prisons.

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has apparently accepted a series of 'reforms' prepared by a government-sponsored committee that was established to supposedly “address grievances that emerged during the protests.”

However, anti-government protesters continue to wage mass rallies in troubled Bahrain, demanding the release of female prisoners, and calling on King Hamad to resign.

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