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Salam Calls for Releasing TB Prisoners in Accordance with Code of Criminal Procedure

2022-06-06 - 6:11 p

Bahrain Mirror: Salam for Democracy and Human Rights demanded the immediate release  of prisoners of conscience who are confirmed to have TB (Tuberculosis), based on Article 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Salam expressed its concern regarding 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  also stressed that health care there relies on painkillers only, in light of the multiple insults by prison doctors against prisoners of conscience and  political prisoners.

Salam described the punishment by the prison administration against political detainees by depriving them of medical care, 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.

It said that families of detainees and executive judges are informed at the right time if the prisoners have a serious illness due to professional confidentiality, in order to implement the necessary protection measures to ensure full health care.

Salam indicated that less than a month after the release of detainee Ahmed Jaber Radhi on a wheelchair with an iron brace on his head after contracting pulmonary tuberculosis, the cases of the disease reappeared in Jaw Central Prison and two other prisoners got infected; Hassan Abdullah Habib Ali Ahmed and Mortada Mohammad Abdulrida Jaafar Mohammad.

There are fears that this contagious disease would spread and the health condition of the infected prisoners would deteriorate. 

First case:

Hassan Abdullah Habib Ali Ahmed, 27, is a prisoner of conscience in Jaw Central Prison, building 10, ward 2, and is suffering from severe Sickle Cell Anemia.

According to his family, Hassan suffered a severe sickle seizure on May 9, and, as a result, was transferred to Salmaniya Medical Complex for treatment. He underwent medical examinations while being in the hospital. On May 30, it was found 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 care. Nevertheless, the parents' request to obtain  written medical reports 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 out. 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. The doctor said that 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 institutions. On May 31, his father contacted the National Institute for Human Rights, and informed them of his son's illness and the refusal of Salmaniya Complex  and Jaw Prison clinic to hand them any written medical reports. 

The institute responded the following day, saying that it would follow up on the matter.

It is to mention that Hassan started showing symptoms of the disease at the end of March in the form of visible glands in the abdomen, and asked to go to the hospital repeatedly to undergo the necessary tests, but the Jaw prison administration didn't allow him.

Last year, while receiving treatment at the military hospital, he underwent medical examinations that showed glands, which required additional examinations. Thus, the military hospital administration wrote to the Jaw Central Prison administration and requested that he be returned to the hospital to undergo the rest of examinations, but the prison administration also refused.

Second case:

Murtada Mohammad Abdulrida Jaafar Mohammad is a prisoner of conscience in Jaw Central Prison, building 9, ward 2. He was arrested on December 16, 2017, and he is sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He was transferred to Al-Salmaniya Medical Complex on May 24, 2022 for an x-ray and to conduct medical tests. The results showed that he suffers from acute inflammation in the spine and erosion in the third and fourth vertebrae, in addition to the appearance of glands in his back.

As a result, he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis. It was spread throughout his body and reached the bones. Mortada is still at the hospital 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 detainee's family asked the hospital for copies of the written medical reports, however, the hospital refused to hand them.

In addition to the two above cases, it is suspected that there are other cases of tuberculosis in Jaw Central Prison, including detainee Ali Hussein Ahmed Issa Barakat, who is sentenced to 22 years in prison and has been jailed since 22/01/2014, as well as the detainee Sayed Nizar Al-Wadaei, who is sentenced to 10 years in prison and was returned to his prison cell after 4 days in solitary confinement, without conducting tuberculosis tests, even though he was accompanying a prisoner infected with tuberculosis.

Salam called on the government of Bahrain to release all prisoners of conscience, especially those with life-threatening conditions, including detainee Hassan Abdullah Habib and Murtada Mohammad Abdulrida Jaafar, based on Article 344 of theCode of Criminal Procedure.

It also called to carry 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.

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