Nine Human Rights Organisations and his Family reaffirm their Demand for Release of Jafar Matooq for Treatment

Medical Care of Detainees is a Human Right
Nine Human Rights Organisations and his Family reaffirm their Demand for Release of Jafar Matooq for Treatment
Nine Bahraini human rights organisations once again have commenced a campaign for release and treatment of a blind Bahraini youth Jafar Matooq. These organisations are: Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, Bahrain Human Rights Society, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bahrain Salam for Human Rights, Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights, “BRAVO” Organisation, “I am free” Campaign.
On 22nd October 2014, the appeals court in Bahrain have reduced Matooq sentence from 10 down to 7 years, even though he experienced an incident that resulted in his blindness on 24 September 2013, arbitrarily arrested in April 2014 and later sentenced under obscure grounds. He has been continually denied the opportunity to commence treatment. The nine human rights organisation have been working on a campaign for a number of months for his right to commence relevant treatment.
On this issue, the prominent human rights activist Dr Mondher Alkhoor stated that as human rights activists, we must constantly push for the preservation of rights all prisoners. This entails the prevention of any action that can result in psychological or physical injuries, or inhuman or degrading treatment, with paramount importance placed on detainees and prisoners that are disabled or require specific treatments and medications.
Dr Alkhoor added that the medical treatment of prisoners is endowed through international agreements that Bahrain have signed and ratified, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As for blind prisoners, it is neither reasonable nor moral to continue their detention in a prison facility, and would be humanitarian to allow them to seek treatment and dwell in their own homes with their families and carers to cater to their specific needs. Further, it is not logical for the Bahraini courts to readily accept cases accusing blind nationals of grave illegal activities, especially considering their inability to carry out any elaborate undertakings.
It is worth mentioning that one of the gravest violations that provoked the condemnation from international human rights organisations was the humiliating and harsh treatment of disabled detainees in the prisons of Bahrain. Such treatments are devoid of any humanitarian sense, particularly illustrated after February 2011 where human rights organisations in Bahrain and abroad called on the Bahraini authorities to release those with disabilities and those with special medical needs.
Issued on 24 October 2014