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Prisoners in Jaw Prison Complain about Severe Hunger, Over 50 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases: HR Statement

2021-03-30 - 8:16 am

Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights and SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights issued an update on the condition of prisoners infected with Coronavirus.

The two organization explained that the number of confirmed positive cases has reached 56 until March 29, including Al-Wefaq former MP Sheikh Hasan Isa. BFHR and Salam said that they received several complaints from prisoners regarding the insufficient number of meals distributed to prisoners.

They added that one of the detainees told his family that the number of Coronavirus cases among prisoners has exceeded 100, but they [prisoners] haven't been able to obtain the names of the infected. Meanwhile, the official parties are not being transparent in dealing with issue, whether in terms of announcing the number of positives cases or informing families of infected prisoners.

The two organizations stress the need to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience and call on the authorities to allow international human rights organizations access to prisons, due to lack of trust in the statements issued by the official parties.

Problems in Providing Food

Prisoner of conscience, Abd Ali Mohammad Khair, said in a recorded voice message that on March 28, breakfast was brought to them at 6:30PM followed by lunch at 8:00PM. He said that the number of meals distributed was insufficient and that 76 inmates were left without food, adding that dinner was given to them at 12:30AM.

Meanwhile, one of the detainees in building 23 said that on Sunday, March 28, prisoners were not given lunch. Only dinner meals were distributed to them and the meal consisted of soup and bread. However, breakfast was served today at 1:00PM.

Another prisoner stated "after some prisoners were infected with COVID-19, the meals provided by the prison administration have become insufficient. The meal consisted of one piece of brown toast, a bowl of cereal that weighed no more than 10 grams and a small amount of pasta. Whoever objected would be left to face hunger."

Another prisoner attested that "since the announcement of Coronavirus cases, milk and tea were no longer distributed."

Families Protesting in Front of Ombudsman building: Peaceful Protests are Prohibited in Manama

In the early morning of March 28, a number of prisoners' families protested in front of the Ombudsman building, calling for the immediate release of their sons. After that, employees of the Ombudsman took numbers and names of the prisoners.

One of the officers told the protestors yesterday: "We do not know how Jaw Central Prison is run and what their different departments and sections are, but what is important to us is that you do not protest in Manama as assembly is prevented in the capital."

Lack of Transparency in Informing Families about Health Conditions of their Sons

Prisoner Younis Al-Naseri said in a voice message that he has been on hunger strike for four days, in protest against the refusal of Jaw Central Prison administration to allow him to check up on his younger brother, detainee Mansour Al-Naseri, who has contracted Coronavirus, indicating that the security authorities didn't tell his family about his brother's infection. On Sunday, March 28, an officer told Younis that the infected prisoners are held in prison cells where no one could get in or out.

Families of a number of detainees also reported that they failed to obtain information whenever they tried to find out the results of the medical examination of their sons through the electronic application of the Ministry of Health (conscious society). "A failed entry attempt" was the only phrase they could get.

Arabic Version