Gianluca Costantini
Political Comics

Mahdi Muftah – Bahrain

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The news of transferring child Mahdi Muftah on Monday (October 16, 2017) to the military hospital to undergo an emergency surgery performed on his genitalia, less than a week after his arrest, caused a stir on social media outlets. He was apprehended along with a group of others in house raids, and transferred to be held at the notorious Criminal Investigation Department (CID), known by Bahrainis as the “Torture Chamber”.

This wave of anger was not only prompted by the fact that Muftah is a 16-year-old child, but also due to what is known about the Bahraini security apparatuses who torture detainees in brutal ways, targeting them in their sensitive areas and genitalia through beatings, electrocution and sexual abuse. This was revealed by a number of activists and human rights defenders who reported the torture they were subjected to while detained. Law counselor Ibrahim Serhan has recently published a testimony in which he said that he was threatened with a glass bottle labeled “7UP” that read, “either cooperate with us or taste the bottle.” He said that the interrogators then opened his legs in an upside-down (V) shape to concentrate the kicking on that area with the intention of causing infertility. He further stated that a muscular torturer entered the room and threatened him: “If you do not show your willingness to cooperate now, one of our men will rape you.”

All of this raised doubts and fears, which were realized after the news that Mahdi underwent an emergency surgery on his genitals surfaced. It was confirmed that what happened to the child was a result of severe torture inflicted on the genital area, especially since he did not suffer from any illness before his arrest, according to his family.

The specialized doctor told Mahdi’s family that he was subjected to testicular torsion in one of his testicles, which required urgent surgical interference to either repair or remove it in case it is no longer functional. Mahdi’s family explained that he had sustained this injury two days before being transferred to the hospital and that the delay in transferring him to hospital perhaps led to the stop of blood flow to the damaged area for a long period, causing the testicle’s death and thus its removal. However, what is the reason that led to this surprising testicular torsion, less than a week after the child’s arrest? This is the worrisome question that only the Ministry of Interior can answer. Nonetheless, the Interior Ministry is well aware that no one can hold it accountable for the violations it commits. Continue


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