Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni meets with prisoners at Al Qurain prison. The meetings are part of a series of visits aimed at investigating the events of February and March 2011. Image Credit: Supplied

Manama: Bahrain's probe commission chief has reviewed with prisoners held under the National Safety Law their legal status and detention conditions, the commission has said.

"Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, the chairman of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), visited Al Qurain prison where he met all the prisoners indicted under the National Safety Law," the BICI said on Wednesday.

"Among those were the 14 political prisoners, convicted of collaboration in an attempt to overthrow the Bahrain regime and government. The prisoners were Ebrahim Sharif, Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, Hussain Mushaima, Abdul Wahab Hussain, Jalil Singace, Mohammad Al Saffaf, Saeed Ahmad, Abdul Jalil Al Moqdad, Salah Al Khawaja, Mohammad Jawad, Abdul Hadi Hassan, Al Hurr Mohammad, Abdullah Al Mahroos and Mohammad Esmail."

Bassiouni discussed the facility conditions, the personal circumstances of their arrest and their trials, allegations of torture and the status of the legal proceedings against them, BICI said.

The head of the five-member commission also visited the military public prosecutor and discussed the status of all cases under the National Security Law.

The meetings were part of a series of visits conducted by the BICI within the mandate of its investigation of the events of February and March 2011 and their consequences.

BICI staff have met a range of political and civic organisations as well as prisoners and detainees, health workers, trade union activists and representatives of large commercial organisations.

The commission has also issued two strong denials that at least one of its members had resigned and shut down its offices for three days following verbal abuses and aggressions. However, the commission said that it would continue its work.

Election candidates

Bahrain's parliamentary by-elections officials yesterday said 83 candidates had signed up during the three-day registration period for next month's polls.

"The figure is beyond our expectations and is higher than the number of candidates who ran in the same constituencies in the elections in October," Abdullah Al Buainain, executive director of the elections, said. "The candidates are highly representative of all social segments and include religious scholars, professionals, civil society activists and women." Around 180,000 Bahrainis are to elect 18 lawmakers who will replace the former representatives of Al Wefaq Islamic Society after they resigned in February in protest against the way the authorities handled demonstrations in Manama.

Al Wefaq, and others said they would boycott the elections claiming the parliament chamber should have more powers.