» News

Death Row Inmate Mohammed Ramadan Allowed Physical Contact with his Family for First Time in Years: Reuters

2022-11-10 - 4:00 p

Bahrain Mirror- Reuters: The family of a Bahraini activist on death row was allowed physical contact with Mohammed Ramadhan for the first time in years on a prison visit this week, his wife said, though adding she believed he was not getting proper medical treatment.

The family was among those who appealed to Pope Francis ahead of his visit last week to Bahrain to speak against capital punishment, which he did while stressing human rights.

Ramadhan's wife, Zainab Ebrahim, who went to Jau Prison on Monday with their three children, said she did not know why they got a "special visit".

"It has been years since we have been able to touch him," she told Reuters, adding that they were usually separated by a glass barrier.

"The children ran to him as soon as they glimpsed him and they were crying and yelling and hugged him."

A government spokesperson, in response to a Reuters query, said inmate visits "can include private and exceptional visits without glass or physical barriers".

Ramadhan and another man, Husain Moosa, were sentenced to death in 2014 for bombing a convoy and killing a police officer in what rights groups say were convictions based on confessions extracted by torture.

Bahrain's highest court upheld the sentences in 2020.

A U.N. human rights watchdog last year called on Bahrain to free and compensate the two men saying they are being arbitrarily detained.

The U.N. panel said it considered the two to have been detained based on their political opinion, for having participated in pro-democracy protests.

Bahrain, which crushed a 2011 anti-government uprising, rejected the report, saying the trials and appeals fulfilled all requirements of a fair trial.

Ramadhan's wife said his requests for an external hospital visit for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for a lump in his neck were not granted, though he was taken to the prison clinic.

She said the lump was found about four months ago.

The government spokesperson said: "The standard process before any scan, invasive diagnostics or treatment is for a patient to be seen and assessed by a healthcare professional".

The spokesperson said Ramadan declined to attend a medical appointment on Oct. 19 and that another was scheduled but "has yet to take place".

Arabic Version