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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: Bahrain - Hassan Mushaima’s health at risk as prison authorities refuse cancer treatment

Action Alert: Bahrain - Hassan Mushaima’s health at risk as prison authorities refuse cancer treatment

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Concerns also voiced as Mushaima is blindfolded and forcibly injected with unknown substance.


Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter

1. Summary

The 64 year old political activist and opposition leader Hassan Mushaima urgently requires his cancer treatment, which is being denied to him by prison authorities. The activist has also been forcibly injected on three separate occasions with an unknown substance, prompting widespread concern and worry on behalf of his supporters and family who are worried that the regime may be attempting to silence him.

2. Background

The life of one of the most influential leaders of the political opposition to the Bahraini regime, Hassan Mushaima, has been put in danger in the past weeks as he serves his life sentence for taking part in demonstrations.

Hassan had been on a course of regular preventative treatments after he was successfully treated for cancer at the Royal Marsden hospital in London in 2010. The claims of a prison appointed physician that the opposition leader’s cancer has returned has alarmed human rights activists inside and outside the country, who assert that the prison authorities’ denial of these basic regular treatments is a purposeful attempt by the regime to cause discomfort to the ailing 64 year old.

He has recently been on a hunger strike with 13 other political prisoners to protest against the regime’s intimidation, imprisonment and torture of women demonstrators. He has thus been forced to endure the particularly appalling conditions of Bahrain’s prisons whilst in a weakened state of health.

The Mushaima family are also deeply concerned about the fact that he has been blindfolded and taken on three separate occasions to a hospital ward, where he has been forcibly injected with an unknown substance. Supporters in Bahrain fear that the coincidence of these injections with the diagnosis by the prison authority medical staff is part of a deliberate attempt by the regime to assassinate the activist.

3. Action Required

IHRC requests its campaigners and supporters to write letters and emails to the foreign minister of your country; and the UN High Comissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay; demanding that they put pressure on the Bahraini regime and its prison authorities to cease violating the basic human rights of Hassan Mushaima, and launch an investigation into his forcible injection with unknown substances.

4. Sample letter
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a)    Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name]
[Your address]

Rt Hon. William Hague MP,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street,
London,
SW1A 2AH,
United Kingdom.

[Date]

Dear Mr Hague,

Re: Denial of cancer treatment to Hassan Mushaima, and his forced injections with unknown substances by prison authorities.

I would like to bring to your attention the recent campaign of intimidation and maltreatment of Hassan Mushaima by the Bahraini prison authorities. 

Hassan Mushaima is the current leader of the Haq Party in Bahrain. He was sentenced by a military court in June to life imprisonment, along with 13 other activists who received sentences which varied between 2 years and life. He was imprisoned for leading and taking part in the country’s mass demonstrations against the Bahraini regime in the spring.

Since being imprisoned, Hassan has been denied the basic treatment that he requires to prevent his cancer from recurring. He was put on this course of treatment in 2010 by medical experts at the Royal Marsden hospital in London, having had his cancer successfully treated.

The 64 year old opposition leader is in particularly frail health due to his recent hunger strike against the regime’s intimidation, imprisonment and torture of women demonstrators. His family is concerned that if he does not receive his cancer treatment in this particular state, it will increase the risk of his cancer returning and spreading in his body.

The family of Hassan Mushaima has also raised concerns about what can only be regarded as suspicious and abnormal treatment given to him by the prison authorities. This includes being blindfolded on three separate occasions and taken to be forcibly injected with substances that remain unknown, as the prison’s hospital ward has refused to disclose this information to Mushaima’s lawyers. Many have suspected that the prison authorities have been asked by the Bahraini regime to assassinate the activist under the cover of his health record.

As the foreign minister of a country that seems to allocate its sympathies to political prisoners on a political basis, I demand that you rectify this penchant immediately by using your influence on the Bahraini regime to cease terrorising Hassan Mushaima by allowing him the cancer treatments that he requires.

I also demand that you press the Bahraini regime to order its prison authorities to disclose the substances that were forcibly injected into Hassan Mushaima, and have the matter investigated independently and transparently. Do not be an accomplice to the regime’s silencing of its most influential opponents.

Please respond in order to address these concerns.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]

b)    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay

[Your name]
[Your address]

Navanethem Pillay
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10,
Switzerland

[Date]

Dear Ms Navanethem Pillay,

Re: Denial of cancer treatment to Hassan Mushaima, and his forced injections with unknown substances.

I would like to bring to your attention the recent campaign of intimidation and maltreatment of Hassan Mushaima by the Bahraini prison authorities. 

Hassan Mushaima is the current leader of the Haq Party in Bahrain. He was sentenced by a military court in June to life imprisonment, along with 13 other activists who received sentences which varied between 2 years and life. He was imprisoned for leading and taking part in the country’s mass demonstrations against the Bahraini regime in the spring.

Since being imprisoned, Hassan has been denied the basic treatment that he requires to prevent his cancer from recurring. He was put on this course of treatment in 2010 by medical experts at the Royal Marsden hospital in London, having had his cancer successfully treated.

The 64 year old opposition leader is in particularly frail health due to his recent hunger strike against the regime’s intimidation, imprisonment and torture of women demonstrators. His family is concerned that if he does not receive his cancer treatment in this particular state, it will increase the risk of his cancer returning and spreading in his body.

The family of Hassan Mushaima has also raised concerns about what can only be regarded as suspicious and abnormal treatment given to him by the prison authorities. This includes being blindfolded on three separate occasions and taken to be forcibly injected with substances that remain unknown, as the prison’s hospital ward as refused to disclose this information to Mushaima’s lawyers. Many have suspected that the prison authorities have been asked by the Bahraini regime to assassinate the activist under the cover of his health record.

As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, I respectfully ask that use your influence to pressure the Bahraini regime to cease violating the basic rights of Hassan Mushaima by allowing him the cancer treatments that he requires.

I also request that you press the Bahraini regime to order its prison authorities to disclose the substances that were forcibly injected into Hassan Mushaima, and have the matter investigated independently and transparently. I trust that you will remember your duties to a political prisoner like Hassan Mushaima, whose ill health is being used as a weapon by the Bahraini regime to intimidate its political opposition – and perhaps even worse – to silence its most influential opponents.

I await eagerly for your response.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]


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