An imprisoned Bahraini opposition figure has been told he has “significantly damaged” kidneys, but authorities won’t provide him with further details or adequate treatment, according to his family and 16 human rights groups.
In a letter released on Monday, the groups called on Bahrain’s King Hamad Al Khalifa and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to immediately release Hassan Mushaima in light of the “serious threat” to his health.
“We respectfully urge you to secure his immediate and unconditional release, and, in the meantime, ensure he receives proper medical care and access to his medical records,” they wrote.
Mushaima, 75, a founding member of the dissolved al-Wefaq opposition party, has been in prison since 2011, convicted in a mass trial and serving a life sentence for leading anti-government protests.
During his years in prison, rights groups have said Mushaima, who has several chronic medical conditions, has been repeatedly prevented from receiving the care he needs despite being held since July 2021 in a medical centre.
He had been waiting since March to see a specialist for his kidney problems. According to his family, on 30 November the doctor, after running tests, indicated that Mushaima’s kidneys are so damaged that he may require dialysis soon.
But when Mushaima asked for more information, the doctor, who works for the health ministry, told him that his information could not be shared without permission from the interior ministry, the family said.
“We are being kept in the dark about my father’s medical condition and are forced to fear the worst,” said Ali Mushaima, a UK-based Bahraini activist and Mushaima’s son.
“Thinking that in his seventies, he will have to spend the rest of his life on dialysis while imprisoned is a nightmare.”