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Human rights demands for the release of sick prisoners of conscience in the prisons of the Al-Khalifa regime

Salam DHR said that based on Article 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, inmates diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) must be released.

Salam for Democracy and Human Rights expresses concern regarding the testimonies and complaints originating from Jaw Prison in Bahrain, which document inadequate medical care, particularly in light of the prison administration’s habitual failure to provide prisoners with appropriate medical care, whether intentionally or negligently. In this context, the organisation emphasised that the prison clinic lacked adequate operational capacity for the number of inmates and specialised doctors. In view of the repeated insults inflicted by prison doctors on prisoners of conscience and inmates since the onset of the political crisis in 2011, SALAM DHR also emphasised that the country’s health care relies solely on analgesics.

SALAM DHR described the prison administration’s treatment of political detainees by denying them medical attention, a healthy environment, and adequate food as abhorrent, noting that the prison administration frequently refuses to transfer sick political prisoners to specialist hospitals. Additionally, the health records of convicts are not made available to the public.

Moreover, if a detainee suffers from a serious illness, neither the prisoners’ families nor the judge are alerted in a timely manner so that the judge can apply the penalty in line with professional secrecy and adopt the required protection measures to provide comprehensive health care.

Less than a month after the release of Ahmed Jaber Radhi in a wheelchair with an iron head brace after contracting pulmonary tuberculosis, Hassan Abdullah Habib Ali Ahmed and Mortada Mohammad Abdul Rida Jaafar Mohammad were infected with the disease at Jaw Central Prison. There are concerns about the spread of this dangerous disease and the deterioration of the affected prisoners’ health.

Initial case:

Hassan Abdullah Habib Ali Ahmed, age 27, is a prisoner of conscience at Jaw Central Prison, Building No. 10, Block 2, and is afflicted with severe diabetes. Hassan reportedly experienced a serious diabetic episode on May 9, after which he was taken to Salmaniya Medical Hospital for treatment. During his hospitalisation, he had medical testing, and on May 30, it was determined that he had contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. The medical advisor at the Genetic Diseases Center who oversees Hassan’s illness notified the prisoner’s family that pulmonary tuberculosis is currently inactive but might become active at any time. This indicates that Hassan should obtain a medical vehicle. However, the parents’ request for a documented medical report regarding their son’s condition was denied.

Hassan was returned to Jaw Prison on 30 May, the same day the test results were received. On May 31, he was taken to the prison clinic, where the clinic doctor studied the medical data and informed Hassan that his situation was serious, posing a threat to his health and the health of other inmates. As a result, he will submit a related report to the Jaw Prison Administration.

Hassan’s family did not hesitate to utilise all available and necessary official channels. On May 31, his father informed the National Institution for Human Rights of his son’s sickness and the hospitals’ failure to provide documented medical reports. The institution responded the following day, stating that it will investigate the incident.

Hassan began exhibiting indications of the condition in the form of visible glands in the belly at the end of March. He constantly requested to go to the hospital for the necessary testing, but the Jaw jail administration refused. Last year, while receiving treatment at the military hospital, he underwent medical examinations that revealed the presence of glands requiring additional examinations. As a result, the military hospital administration requested that he be returned to the hospital for the remaining examinations, but the Jaw Central Prison administration refused.

Second example:

Murtatha Mohammad Abd al-Ridha Jaafar Mohammad is a prisoner of conscience in Building No. 9, Block 2 of Jaw Central Prison. He was detained on December 16, 2017, and given a 10-year sentence. On May 24, 2022, he was moved to Salmaniya Medical Hospital for an x-ray and medical examinations. In addition to the presence of back glands, the results revealed that he suffers from acute inflammation of the spine and erosion of the third and fourth vertebrae. As a result, he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis that had reached his bones and spread throughout his body. Mortada is still undergoing medical observation at Salmaniya Hospital.

As a result of Mortada’s health condition, his attorney submitted a request to the execution judge to halt his sentence so that he may obtain the required therapy, which could take six to twenty months.

Notably, the family of the detainee Mortada requested copies of the written medical reports from the hospital, but the hospital refused.

It is suspected that there are additional cases of tuberculosis in Jaw Central Prison, including the detainee Ali Hussein Ahmed Issa Barakat, who has been in detention since 22/01/2014 and has been sentenced to 22 years in prison, and the detainee Sayed Nizar Al-Wadaei, who is sentenced to 10 years in prison and was returned after 4 days of solitary confinement to his building without performing tuberculosis tests, despite

SALAM DHR urges the government of Bahrain to release all prisoners of conscience, particularly those with life-threatening conditions, including Hassan Abdullah Habib and Murtatha Mohammad Abdul Ridha, in accordance with Article 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and similar cases of their health conditions. Salam requests a probe into the spread of pulmonary tuberculosis in the jail, the elimination of the hazard to the remaining inmates, and the implementation of preventative measures for all of them.

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