Imprisoned over their involvement in the country's popular uprising, 7 high-performance Bahraini athletes will not be able to take part in the next Olympics games which are to take place this summer in the English capital.
The 7 Bahraini athletes were condemned for different crimes and are serving different prison sentences ranging from a couple of years to life imprisonment sentences.
Amongst them, Sayed Hadi Nasser Alawi, a formula 1 driver who was condemned to spend the rest of his life in prison for murder and participation in an illegal gathering organised by the opposition was condemned to life imprisonment. Mohamed Mirza, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) trainer arrested on March 16, 2011 at a checkpoint, was condemned to 20 years in prison for "kidnapping a policeman". Three Handball players, Mohamed Salman, Ali Salman and Mohamed Ali Jawad al-Fardan received received a 15-year sentence each for "burning down a farm."
According to rights activist Peter Clifford, "many others remain in a legal no-man’s-land as they wait for their trials to resume and/or are running out of money and struggling to support their families as they are prohibited from returning to their government jobs."
Many of those arrested and imprisoned claimed they were tortured soon after their arrest. Rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented cases of systematic abuse and torture against prisoners.
On Wednesday, the Guardian received documents that were submitted to David Cameron and William Hague, the foreign secretary, in which Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa is claimed to have been " 'personally engaged' in beating, flogging and kicking pro-democracy protesters" during last year's uprising.
The documents also show that the President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, launched "a punitive campaign to repress Bahraini athletes who had demonstrated their support (for) the peaceful pro-democracy movement."
In the report, Britain is urged to deny entry to Sheikh Nasser over his alleged involvement in human rights violations.
"Following his directives more than 150 professional athletes, coaches and referees were subjected to arbitrary arrests, night raids, detention, abuse and torture by electric cables and other means," the Guardian quoted the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).
The Head of the Bahrain Olympic Committee and the Bahraini government deny the allegations.