Ebrahim Sharif still recalls seeing blood on the walls of the military prison he was jailed in, shortly after demonstrating in Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests of 2011.
The then-secretary general of the Gulf country’s largest leftist political party – the National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad) – was rounded up alongside other protesting leaders at that time, who were tried and imprisoned by military courts.
“We were tortured severely,” Sharif told Al Jazeera, recounting the beatings and sexual harassment he faced, as well as the electrocutions some of his peers were subjected to.
Shortly after an independent inquiry took place, the opposition leader and others who took part in the massive pro-democracy protests were transferred to the civilian prison system and only then did the torture stop, he said.
Things were markedly better in these prisons for several years, Sharif said, with prisoners able to leave their cells during the day to pray at the mosque, use the library, or play football outdoors. Continue