Denounce Torture of Pregnant Woman


Target: Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Goal: Investigate pregnant prisoner’s allegations of torture, protect her from further ill-treatment, and either charge her with a crime or free her immediately

Continuing in its tradition of inhumane actions, Bahrain has imprisoned and allegedly beaten a pregnant woman–all without charging her with a crime. Sign the petition and demand that Bahrain investigate the woman’s allegations of torture, provide her with the medical care she requires (pregnancy-related and otherwise), and either charge her with an internationally-recognizable crime or free her immediately.

Thirty-seven-year-old Nadia ‘Ali Yousef Saleh was in the car with her husband and mother when they were stopped at a checkpoint. ‘Abd ‘Ali Ibrahim Yousef Saleh, Nadia’s husband, was arrested. When she asked why, “one of the policemen reportedly started insulting her. According to information received by Amnesty International, the police took her identity card and asked her to go to al-Budaya’ Police Station in Manama, the capital, the following day.”

When Nadia arrived at the police station, her hands were tied behind her back and she was beaten by three policewomen in the bathroom, after which she was moved to a women’s detention facility. “She has been brought before the Public Prosecution three times,” Amnesty International reports, “and each time she had her detention renewed for a month pending further investigation.” She has yet to be charged with a crime, and she is currently eight months pregnant, hospitalized, and not being treated for pre-existing psychological conditions. Her husband remains in jail, serving a six-month sentence for “financial irregularities,” and the couple’s three-year-old son remains separated from his parents.

It is disgraceful for the Bahraini government treat anyone so callously, let alone a pregnant woman. Sign the petition and soundly denounce Bahrain for its shameful treatment of Nadia ‘Ali Yousef Saleh, her husband, and their unborn child.


Dear Minister,

Thirty-seven-year-old Nadia ‘Ali Yousef Saleh is eight months pregnant with her second child–and she has been imprisoned for nearly half the length of her entire pregnancy. Not only that, but she has also been tortured in custody and denied medical care for a pre-existing psychological condition. I therefore demand that she either be charged with an internationally-recognizable criminal offense or freed immediately and unconditionally.

Nadia ‘Ali Yousef Saleh has been in prison since the end of May 2013, after an incident at a checkpoint outside Beni Jamra on May 29. Her husband,  ‘Abd ‘Ali Ibrahim Yousef Saleh, was arrested. When Nadia inquired why, a police officer at the scene reportedly insulted her and confiscated her identity card. When she went to the police station to retrieve it, she was restrained, beaten by three policewomen, and transferred to a detention facility. She was four months pregnant at the time of the alleged beating.

While in detention, Nadia has been denied medical care for pre-existing psychological conditions, dizziness, and fainting. Her case has come before the Public Prosecution three times, and each time it has been delayed for a month pending further investigation. She has yet to be charged with any crime. Meanwhile, her husband is serving a six-month sentence for “financial irregularities,” and the couple’s three-year-old son remains separated from both of his parents.

Bahrain should be ashamed of treating any of its citizens this way–let alone a pregnant mother. I therefore demand that Bahrain make amends for its disgraceful behavior in the following ways:

1. By immediately charging Nadia ‘Ali Yousef Saleh with an internationally-recognizable criminal offense or releasing her immediately and unconditionally;

2. By ensuring that she is safe from torture and ill-treatment;

3. By launching a full investigation into her allegations of torture and bringing those responsible to justice;

4. By providing her with any medical care–both pre-natal and otherwise–that she may require.

There is no indication that Nadia ‘Ali Yousef Saleh has done anything wrong or illegal. Her detention is a travesty, and I demand that she be either charged or freed immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Kit4na via Flickr

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