Bahrain poetess Ayat al Qurmezi under house arrest

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Friday, 15 July 2011


shiitenews_Bahrain_poetess_Ayat_al_Qurmezi_under_house_arrestA Bahraini pro-democracy poetess has been placed under house arrest shortly after she was released from prison.

Hailed as the "freedom poet," Ayat al-Qurmezi was arrested on March 30 for reciting anti-government poetry in the capital of Manama's Pearl Square.

She was then charged with incitement and insulting members of the royal family and handed a one-year jail term.

"And I won't be afraid because of a paper I signed," Qurmezi said, referring to a pledge she had signed not to violate the terms of her arrest, join protests and speak to the media.

While in detention, she was subjected to torture and inhumane treatment. She was also forced to make false confessions.

Further, her family says she was forced by her jailors to clean filthy lavatories with her bare hands.

"I hope Bahrain can move away from the crisis to a transition into a better future, without discrimination or sectarianism," the poetess said.

In a popular uprising, tens of thousands of Bahraini protesters have been holding peaceful anti-regime rallies throughout the country since February, demanding an end to the rule of the Al Khalifa family.

The royals have governed the oil-rich Persian Gulf island for over 40 years with major backing from the United States, Britain and the neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Scores of people have been killed and many more arrested and tortured in prisons as part of the clampdown in the country -- a longtime US ally and home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.


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According to the Shiite News monitoring desk,On Thursday, the 20-year-old said she had faced house arrest in exchange for freedom, but vowed to continue her freedom-seeking campaign.

"I'm not afraid to speak out though. I have something to say," she said.

"And I won't be afraid because of a paper I signed," Qurmezi said, referring to a pledge she had signed not to violate the terms of her arrest, join protests and speak to the media.

While in detention, she was subjected to torture and inhumane treatment. She was also forced to make false confessions.

Further, her family says she was forced by her jailors to clean filthy lavatories with her bare hands.

"I hope Bahrain can move away from the crisis to a transition into a better future, without discrimination or sectarianism," the poetess said.

In a popular uprising, tens of thousands of Bahraini protesters have been holding peaceful anti-regime rallies throughout the country since February, demanding an end to the rule of the Al Khalifa family.

The royals have governed the oil-rich Persian Gulf island for over 40 years with major backing from the United States, Britain and the neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Scores of people have been killed and many more arrested and tortured in prisons as part of the clampdown in the country -- a longtime US ally and home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.


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