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Geneva: Despite Judicial Verdicts, Ombudsman Says Investigations are Ongoing in Jaw Prison Riots

Ombudsman Secretary-General Nawaf Al Maawda
Ombudsman Secretary-General Nawaf Al Maawda

2017-04-26 - 5:00 am

Bahrain Mirror: The Secretary General of the Ombudsman, and head of the Commission on Rights of Prisoners and Detainees Nawaf al-Maawda, said that investigations are still ongoing by the special investigations unit (SIU) into the riot that happened in "Jaw" Prison. His remarks came despite the issuance of judicial verdicts against 57 defendants on charges of riot.

According to al-Maawda, the SIU referred 52 cases to criminal courts, and 101 members of the security apparatus, including 17 officers were accused. The referred case also mentioned 9 deaths, 6 torture cases, 388 ill-treatment cases, and issued convictions against 25 defendants in 19 cases.

"The unit appealed 20 challenges in the appeals court, in addition to the court of cassation, and seeks to reach the maximum penalty to prove the right of the victim. The issued penalties against the defendants ranged from 1 month to seven years," he said.

"There are 101 defendants who were brought to court during the four years, and this is big number. There are three members whom the unit was not able to find evidence for criminal charges against them, to refer them to the disciplinary committee for prosecution. They were subject to disciplinary punishments," he went on to say.

Al-Maawda also justified from the absence of a doctor in the Ombudsman's Office.

At the level of the Committee on the Rights of Prisoners and Detainees, Al-Maawda confirmed that the commission made 12 undeclared visits to prisons in Bahrain, and adopted accordingly the British mechanism; i.e. the receiving party is informed that a delegation from the commission will arrived on the same day.

Upon arrival at the prison, the commission randomly selects inmates and meets with them secretly without any supervision.

Moreover, Ombudsman Secretary General said that the commission includes representatives of the civil society, who are carefully selected by the National Institute for Human Rights.

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