The Women Affairs Unit of Al Wefaq party called on human rights NGOs to follow the cases of the female political prisoners in Bahrain and to pressure the Bahraini Authority to release them.
As Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Women celebrates its 13th anniversary, the Bahraini Court of Appeals upheld 5 year sentences against two women who have been jailed for their political opinions.
Rayhanna Almusawi and Nafeesa Alasfoor appeared in the Formula1 event in Bahrain on April 21st, 2013 wearing T-shirts with pictures of a prominent human rights defender. They have been in jail since then and have complained of being subjected to torture and coercion. Recently, a well-known human rights activist was taken into custody. Maryam Alkhawaja was arrested when she tried to enter the country to see her father who has gone on hunger strike in prison. Another Bahraini woman, Maryam Sahwan, has been in jail since 22nd May 2014.
The Women Affairs Unit in Al Wefaq National Islamic Society said, “It is very regrettable for the Supreme Council for Women to launch training and rehabilitation programs while ignoring jailed women who are suffering from deteriorating health conditions and post-torture psychological symptoms. This strongly indicates that some State-institutions are used to window-dress the systematic violations against the people of Bahrain who are calling for a democratic transition”.
The Unit also criticized the Supreme Council for Women for ignoring abuses perpetrated against women in jail and the State’s discrimination against women in general. The Unit said Bahraini women are subjected to sectarian discrimination in recruitment and scholarships.
“Many Bahraini women were dismissed from their jobs for taking part in the peaceful protests that erupted in February 2011. These women must be given attention and reinstated”, the Unit added.