Bahraini poet, now under house arrest, speaks of her torture
Summary of story from The Telegraph, July 14, 2011
When she was arrested and imprisoned for reciting her poetry, trainee teacher Ayat al-Qurmezi became a symbol of oppression for the protestors challenging the Bahraini regime (see WVoN story).
After she was arrested, reports circulated that she had been whipped and even at one point raped and killed, leading to an improvement in her conditions and her release on Wednesday evening.
Greeted by a crowd of hundreds of people at her home, she told her family she had not been sexually assault but had been threatened, as well as being electrocuted with clips attached to her face.
She also denied that she had committed treason by attacking the king, saying she wanted reform not revolution. “The demand isn’t to overthrow the regime, but we want a real constitutional monarchy,” she said to reporters.
“She was beaten with a hose and electrocuted,” al-Qurmezi’s brother, Yusuf, told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday. “They put the clips on her lips and on other parts of her face.
“They did not rape her but they told her they would. They put her in a narrow cell. Through the wall she could hear the screams of men who were being beaten. They would come and tell her, ‘you are next’.”
Al-Qurmezi said she remained under house arrest and although released early the charges on which she had been jailed had not been dropped.
“I hope Bahrain can move away from the crisis to a transition into a better future, without discrimination or sectarianism,” she said.