BFHR responding to NIHR: You are busy denying violations while scabies cases in prisons need medical follow-up and deprivation of treatment is a main way of torturing prisoners
Commenting on the statement issued by the National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR), the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) said that the statement comes in the context of its constant preoccupation with denying torture whenever the authorities were condemned over new human rights violations. However, sick prisoners continue to complain about violating their right to receive appropriate and necessary treatment; meanwhile, dozens of cases of scabies still need medical follow-up in prisons, which essentially requires the competent authorities to initiate an investigation, address the repercussions and hold those involved in these violations accountable, rather than being preoccupied with denying them, the BFHR said. It also re-demanded releasing all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, dropping the sentences issued against them and compensating damages.
“Instead of doing what it is competent to do, which is visiting the Jaw Central Prison and the Dry Dock Prison in accordance with paragraph (g) of Article (12) of Law No. (26) of 2014 on Establishing the National Institute for Human Rights, the NIHR only communicated with what it called ‘the concerned authorities’ without conducting any investigation into the prisoners' many allegations about deprivation of treatment,” the BFHR said. “Rather, it limited the problem to a specific number of sick prisoners with allergies, as it put it, while one of the main problems is poor health care and the deliberate neglect of enabling dozens of prisoners of enjoying their right to appropriate and necessary treatment, in addition to making the violation of this right one of the basic ways of torturing prisoners,” the BFHR added.
“Although the NIHR recognized the existence of medical conditions requiring treatment, it provided a strange justification and did not condemn the failure of the security authorities responsible for the deterioration of prison conditions and the lack of an appropriate environment for detainees,” the BFHR further said. “Rather, it called on the prisoners infected with what it called allergies – in order to avoid mentioning scabies – to adhere to the health guidelines provided to them,” the BFHR added. “This reminds us of the usual behavior of the NIHR; whenever complaints of ill-treatment come from prison, it rushes to issue strange media statements, similar to the statement of Maria Khoury, President of the NIHR, made on June 23, 2019 to the Bahraini newspaper, al-Watan, saying “No torture in prisons and places of detention and arrest in Bahrain,” while she does not have a clear answer about the reason for preventing UN Special Rapporteur on torture from visiting Bahrain until this very moment,” the BFHR said.
Bahrain Forum of Human Rights