02 October 2019 - 19:36
News ID: 447439
A
Bahrain’s main Shia opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, has called on women heads of state to support jailed female political prisoners in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, and press the ruling Al Khalifah regime to set them free.

RNA - Al-Wefaq, in a series of posts published on its Twitter page on Monday, appealed to a number of leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović  and Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, to help secure the release of six female detainees.

“We look forward to your responsible attitude that supports Bahraini women, who are subjected to reprisal due to their political views and are arrested for demanding freedom and democracy,” the opposition group wrote in the separate posts.

The jailed female political prisoners are Zakia al-Barbouri, Medina Ali, Hajar Mansoor Hassan and three sisters Fatima, Amal and Iman Abdullah. They are serving jail terms, ranging from three to five years. They were convicted following trials marred by allegations of torture and duress.

On May 27, Bahrain’s supreme court of appeal, the Court of Cassation, upheld a five-year prison sentence against Barbouri and stripped her of her citizenship after finding her guilty of trumped-up terrorism-related charges.

On February 6, Bahrain's Fourth High Criminal Court sentenced Barbouri to five years in prison, and ordered her citizenship to be revoked.

Bahraini authorities claimed at the time that the dissident was “transporting materials used in explosive devices” to an alleged cell trained in Iraq.

The officials leveled terror charges against the defendant based on her confessions. Confessions, however, were extracted under duress and torture, according to international human rights groups.

Masked pro-regime militiamen, accompanied by members of the security service, arrested Barbouri early on May 17, 2018 after they raided her home in the village of Nuwaidrat.

She was held incommunicado at a detention facility for weeks following her arrest.

High-profile imprisoned activist Hajar Mansoor Hassan is the mother-in-law of exiled activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who is the head and founder of the London-based rights group Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD).

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.

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