SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The sister of the detained Ms Zahra Al-Sheikh has caused uproar after she had revealed that a policewoman forced Zahra to take off her clothes and filmed her naked by her mobile. She said the officer Isa Al-Majali beat her, took off her head cover, abused her verbally, and forced her to confess of false charges.
Riot police brutally assaulted Zahra (21 years old) before arresting her after she had been caught filming an attack on the protesters on Friday . She was detained in Budaiya Police Station until taken to the Public Prosecution after a charge of assaulting policemen had been fabricated against her.
Her family was denied seeing her before being taken to the Public Prosecution. Her sister said she was transported to hospital after the beatings she had gone through.
Zahra phone her family from the Police Station and told them what she had suffered. Her sister reported that a large group of the regime mercenaries surrounded her and beat her brutally on the head and back. Then Officer Isa Al-Majali interrogated her who beat her and took off her head cover, abused her verbally, and forced her to confess of false charges.
The young woman was put in jail with other women accused of prostitution and other similar crimes. Her sister said that Zahra phoned crying and asked for help.
The Public Prosecution decided to release Zahra on bail of BHD 50, however, her family was kicked out of the Police Station after they arrived to take her. The family was told that the judge revoked his decision claiming it was wrong and Zahra must be detained for a week. Her lawyer contacted the Prosecutor General who claimed that he had revoked Zahra’s release decision after a video footage had been circulated that proved she assaulted policemen.
Later, her sister caused uproar, after she revealed that a policewoman forced Zahra to take off her clothes in detention and filmed her by her mobile phone. The policewoman then went to Zahra and said to her that she deleted the video saying she did that jokingly.
Zahra’s sister explained that the policewoman took Zahra as well as a Pilipino woman inmate into a room, she instructed them to take off their clothes. Zahra refused, however, the policewoman forced her. The policewoman started to beat the Pilipino woman while she was naked. She stressed that she was not able to recognize that policewomen removed their badges that had their names, to avoid suing them for their ugly acts.
Zahra Al-Sheikh is a student in the College of Media & Communication. Last Sunday 17 June 2012 she was supposed to sit for one of her final exams. She was studying for her exams while she was in jail, nonetheless, she was not allowed to sit for the exam. Zahra complained of mistreatment and bad food. The Police Station refused to take the clothes that her family had sent to her.
Zahra’s sister commented: “In the state of law, institutions, and freedom, men and women are arrested, beaten, and their privacy is violated, all of that happens here in Bahrain.” She added: “only those who had been in prison would appreciate its ordeal and bitterness.”
“What crime Zahra did to be beaten that brutal? Did she steal? Did she have a weapon? Murderers and criminals are free and she’s behind bars”, she wondered and added: “There is no law in the country; the authorities are playing around with a whole nation fate, what would prevent them from playing with a young woman’s future.”
The tweeps on twitter wrote much about the young lady’s story which is one of a long list of heinous assaults on women by the police since the implementation of the martial law on 15 March 2011. Bassiouni’s report listed some of those violations.
Some activists translated the tweets of Zahra’s sister to English and French, while others campaigned against the Jordanian torturer Isa Al-Majali. A Jordanian activists tweeted: “Such torturers put us to shame, and all honourable people in Jordan condemn Majali’s behaviour.”
Wefaq said Zahra’s arrest comes “despite all the calls that the International community raised to evacuate prisons of prisoners of opinion, while the authorities continue to arrest women and leave them in prison in cases that are related to freedom of expression and right to protest.” —www.shafaqna.com/english