The family of Sheikh Mirza al-Mahrous has voiced grave concerns over the wellbeing of the ailing cleric after his health condition worsened, and officials at the notorious Jau Prison, south of the capital Manama, prevented him from undergoing an emergency operation, Arabic-language and independent Manama Post online newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The family said they “received a phone call from him on Sunday, May 3, 2020, informing them of deterioration of his health condition due to the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and that the medicine he takes does not work and cannot ease symptoms.”
Sheikh Mahrous told them he urgently needs to have a surgery as diagnosed by a specialist, but the Jau Prison administration deliberately refuses to transfer him to hospital.
The sheikh is among a group of opposition leaders, rights activists, bloggers and Shia clerics arrested in connection with their role in the mid-February 2011 popular uprising against the ruling Al Khalifah regime.
He was the vice president of the now-dissolved al-Zahraa Society of Orphans prior to his arrest.
A Bahraini court found the detained opposition figure guilty of “attempting to overthrow the regime” and subsequently sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
Sheikh Mahrous has frequently gone on hunger strike in protest at prison authorities’ delay in his treatment and denial of the necessary health care in light of his chronic colon disease.
Anti-regime Bahraini protesters have been staging almost daily demonstrations in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom ever since a pro-democracy uprising began there several years ago.
The demonstrators are calling for the ouster of the Al Khalifah regime and establishment of a just and conclusive system representing all Bahraini nationals.
The Manama regime, in return, has ignored the calls and is pressing ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown and persecution of human rights campaigners and political dissidents.
Moreover, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals on March 5, 2017. The move drew widespread condemnation from human rights bodies and activists, and was described as imposition of an undeclared martial law across the country.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah rubber-stamped the constitutional amendment on April 3 that year.