The release of all Bahraini prisoners of conscience is a necessity, today not tomorrow
Salam DHR: We demand the immediate release of prisoners who are confirmed to have TB (Tuberculosis), based on Article 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
Salam for Democracy and Human Rights expresses its concern in relation to the testimonies and complaints that came out of Jaw Prison in Bahrain, which document poor medical care, especially in light of the prison administration’s routine failure to provide appropriate medical care to prisoners, whether deliberately or through negligence. In this regard, the organization stressed that the prison clinic lacks the operational capacity appropriate for the number of prisoners and specialized doctors. SALAM DHR also stressed that health care there relies on painkillers only, in light of the multiple insults that prison doctors inflict against prisoners of conscience and prisoners against the background of the political crisis since 2011.
SALAM DHR described the punishment by the prison administration of political detainees by depriving them of medical care, a good health environment and adequate food for their patients as appalling; pointing out that the prison administration often refuses to transfer sick political prisoners to specialized hospitals. Additionally, the prisoners’ health files are not handed over for information. Moreover, if and when a detainee suffers from a serious illness neither the prisoners’ families nor the judge is notified in a timely manner in order for the judge to implement the punishment in accordance with professional secrecy in order to implement the necessary protection measures to ensure full health care.
SALAM DHR also indicated that less than a month after the release of the detainee Ahmed Jaber Radhi in a wheelchair with an iron brace on his head after contracting pulmonary tuberculosis, the cases of the disease were back to Jaw Central Prison and two other prisoners got infected ; namely, Hassan Abdullah Habib Ali Ahmed and Mortada Mohammad Abdul Rida Jaafar Mohammad. There are fears of the spread of this contagious disease and the deterioration of the health condition of the infected prisoners.
Hassan Abdullah Habib Ali Ahmed, 27 years old, is a detainee of conscience in Jaw Central Prison, Building No. 10, Block 2, and is suffering from acute Diabetes. According to his family, on May 9, Hassan suffered a severe diabetic attack, after which he was transferred to Salmaniya Medical Hospital for treatment. He underwent medical examinations during his stay in the hospital, and the results came on May 30, d that he had contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. The medical advisor at the Genetic Diseases Center, who monitors Hassan’s condition, informed the prisoner’s family that pulmonary tuberculosis is not active until the moment, but it may get active at any time. This means Hassan should receive special medical car. Nevertheless, the parents’ request to obtain a written medical report on their son’s condition was not approved.
Hassan was returned to Jaw Prison on May 30, the same day the results of the tests came back. On May 31, he was transferred to the prison clinic, where the clinic doctor reviewed the medical reports and told Hassan that his condition was dangerous, which poses a threat to his health and the health of other prisoners who are with him. As a consequence, he will submit a report to the Jaw Prison Administration in this regard.
Hassan’s family did not hesitate to use all relevant and possible official outlets. On May 31, his father contacted the National Institution for Human Rights, and informed them of his son’s illness and the refusal of Salmaniya Hospital and Jaw Prison Hospital to hand them any written medical reports. The institution’s response came the next day, saying that it would follow up on the matter.
It should be noted that Hassan started showing symptoms of the disease at the end of March in the form of visible glands in the abdomen, and he asked to go to the hospital repeatedly for the necessary tests, but the Jaw prison administration refused to do so. Last year, while receiving treatment at the military hospital, he underwent medical examinations that showed the presence of glands that required additional examinations, so the military hospital administration wrote to the Jaw Central Prison administration and requested that he be returned to the hospital for the rest of the examinations, but the prison administration refused to do so.
Murtatha Mohammad Abd al-Ridha Jaafar Mohammad is a detainee of conscience in Jaw Central Prison, Building No. 9, Block 2. He was arrested on December 16, 2017, and he is sentenced to 10 years. He was transferred to Salmaniya Medical Hospital on May 24, 2022 for an x-ray and to conduct medical tests. The results showed that he suffers from acute inflammation of the spine and erosion in the third and fourth vertebrae, in addition to the appearance of glands in the back. As a result, he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis that had spread throughout his body and had reached the bones. Mortada is still in Salmaniya Hospital, where he is under medical observation.
As a result of Mortada’s health condition, his lawyer submitted a request to the execution judge to stop the sentence imposed on him so that he could receive the treatment recommended by doctors, which may take a period of six months to two years.
It should be noted that the family of the detainee, Mortada, asked the hospital for copies of the written medical reports, but the hospital refused to do so.
In addition to the two cases above, it is suspected that there are other cases of tuberculosis in Jaw Central Prison, including the detainee Ali Hussein Ahmed Issa Barakat, who has been sentenced to 22 years in prison and has been in detention since 22/01/2014, 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, even though he was accompanying a prisoner infected with tuberculosis.
SALAM DHR calls on the government of Bahrain to release all prisoners of conscience, especially those with life-threatening conditions, including the detainee Hassan Abdullah Habib and Murtatha Mohammad Abdul Ridha, based on Article 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and of similar cases of their health conditions. Salam calls on carrying out an investigation into the spread of pulmonary tuberculosis in the prison, remedying the danger that threatens the remaining detainees, and taking preventive measures for all of them.