Ombudsman Says Jaw Prisoners Demands Not among its Specialty, Defends Prison Administration Measures
2019-08-25 - 7:16 am
Bahrain Mirror: The Ombudsman addressed the hunger strike launched by prisoners in Jaw Central Prison and responded to the detainees' demands through denying some of the complaints and deeming others illegal. It stood by the prison administration and its followed measures, adding that the prisoners' hunger strike came in protest against the administrative and organizational rules and regulations that govern the prison, and that the cases are not among the complaints to be considered by the Ombudsman, as they do not constitute a culpable or illegal act.
Regarding the allegations of solitary confinement, the Ombudsman said that the prison administration relocated a small number of inmates within Jaw Prison. The relocations were in line with internationally recognized standards on prisoner segregation, and that transferred inmates were not in isolation or solitary confinement.
With respect to allegations of denying freedom of religious practice, the Ombudsman stated that the freedom of inmates to engage in religious practices is fully guaranteed, but on limited occasions, requests have been made to allow inmates to gather in large numbers. Although the prison administration is sympathetic to these requests, it is also required to maintain order and to respect the religious beliefs of others.
Inmates have raised concerns regarding visitation procedures, particularly the presence of a glass barrier between inmates and visitors. However, the Ombudsman said that it should be noted that the use of glass barriers in prisoner visitation centers is not unique to Bahrain, and that a number of other countries use glass barriers to ensure the safety of visitors, prison staff, and inmates.
It claimed that the prison administration has reiterated its commitment to the Ombudsman to monitoring the health of the inmates who have declared their hunger strike, and to provide all medical assistance where necessary.
The Ombudsman concluded that the allegations on reasons against which a number of Jaw prisoners engaged in a hunger strike are related to administrative and organizational rules and regulations that govern the prison, and that the cases are not among the complaints to be considered by the Ombudsman, as they do not constitute a culpable or illegal act. The hunger strike cannot be classified as torture, inhumane treatment or in contravention of the regulations governing the Centre or the rights of the inmates incarcerated there.