HRW: Bahrain Denies Health Care to Jailed Opposition Members
According To Iran News, Authorities in Bahrain are denying prisoners adequate health care, Human Rights Watch warned in a statement.
HRW said Bahrain’s prison authorities arbitrarily deprive prisoners of urgent health care, refuse to allow them to be examined by specialists, do not disclose the results of their medical tests and withhold medicines as a form of punishment, Middle East Monitor reported.
The international organization said it prepared the report, in cooperation with Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), which included testimonies of two detained human rights activists and the families of four detained opposition activists.
The statement noted that the six prisoners were serving prison sentences related to their prominent roles in opposition groups and pro-democracy protests which have rocked the country since 2011.
“It is outrageous that Bahraini authorities are denying detainees medical care that they urgently need, in some cases putting their lives in danger,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division.
“Many of these people should not have been imprisoned in the first place, and arbitrary denial of medical care may amount to extrajudicial punishment,” Stork added.
He explained that denying a prisoner needed medical care violates the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Mandela Rules.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.