Al-Khabbaz Parents Denied Right to See their 4 Sons Together during Visit since 10 Months
2017-12-05 - 9:58 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Families of political prisoners found the solidarity campaign launched under the hashtag #Save_Bahrain_Prisoners an opportunity to reveal a portion of the sufferings they and their sons have been experiencing.
Tweeter Ahmad Al-Khabbaz, who has four brothers in prison, Maher Abbas who faces a death penalty, Mohammad and Mortada who are serving a life sentence and Fadhel who is sentenced to 5 years in prison, expressed on his Twitter account his family's suffering to meet his 4 brothers during the visit. Ahmad said that he and his parents are not being allowed to meet their four sons together, all at once. "My brothers have spent 10 months in prison and we couldn't visit them together due to the authorities' strict measures separating them and setting different dates for their visits," he said. "We demand the authorities to allow us meet my brothers together. The authorities have no right to separate them and prevent them from seeing each other." Ahmad posted another tweet saying: "My brothers are in prison and are not allowed to meet one another. How could the authorities separate them even during monthly visits!" He further stated that his brothers refrained from visits because the authorities have prevented them from having collective visits.
Four brothers from the same family were arrested on the same day and charged with killing a policeman in Al-Sahla in 2013, after protests staged in the area marking the third anniversary of the February 14 uprising. Nine suspects were accused in this case; however, Al-Khabbaz family received the lion's share of the harsh and unfair rulings.
Maher Al-Khabbaz (32 years old) was severely tortured in the Criminal Investigation Department complex. He was placed naked in a cold room for long hours and was beaten with wooden plates, then with an iron rod and a screwdriver. He was electrocuted in sensitive places of his body, threatened with rape, and forced to confess to the murder. A gun was put in his mouth after he refused to sign the confessions. His front teeth were broken and almost died due to the torture. He was transferred to the military hospital where he stayed for a week.
Despite the decisive evidence that Maher's defense presented, proving that he was at work at the time of the incident as his boss testified in his favor, and although the police who were brought in as witnesses did not recognize the defendants, the high appeals court issued on August 31, 2014 sentenced Maher to death, and upheld life sentences against his bothers Mohammad and Mortada and a 5-year jail term against his brother Fadhel. The defendants were not allowed to speak or defend themselves during the trial sessions.
In addition, his brother Mohammad Al-Khabbaz, who is serving a life sentence, lost his 3-year-old son Abbas to illness. Abbas died while his father was behind bars; he couldn't see him during the whole time he was ill and wasn't able to bid him farewell after he passed away as well. Mohammad was arrested when his son was only 3 months old, suffering from brain hemorrhage as a result of suffocation while he was being delivered.
Mohammad was working on issuing a passport for his son in order to take him to Riyadh to receive treatment there. He; however, was arrested. Since then, the regime delayed issuing the passport for his sick baby despite his mother's continued attempts and even though the authorities were aware that any delay of treatment who result in the boy's death. The baby's health condition severely deteriorated until he was put on respiratory devices. Following a year and a half of postponement, the Ministry of Interior issued a passport for him on September 9, 2014, but it was too late, as his deteriorating health prevented him from traveling. The boy died on December 14, 2016 leaving pain and grief in his parents' hearts. The authorities didn't have enough apparently, as they didn't allow Mohammad to see his child for the last time and prevented him from taking part in his funeral procession.
This is situation of these four brothers. The family, who had four of its youths taken away from them, and one of whose life is threatened, are being deprived from meeting the four sons together, even from behind a glass barrier. The brothers are not allowed to see one another even though they are held in the same prison. The family is banned from reuniting and being a family for even a half an hour.
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