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BFHR: Deprivation of Treatment is Typical Form of Torture in Bahrain

2020-01-19 - 11:58 p

Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) said that it has monitored, during the last period, dozens of complaints by detainees, due to the violation of their right to receive appropriate and necessary treatment, especially in the Jaw Central Prison. This is because severe deprivation of treatment has become one of the typical forms of torture in Bahrain as a result of deteriorating prison conditions and the lack of legal accountability of those involved in these violations.

The BFHR also pointed out that "Instead of cooperating in effective initiatives for the betterment of the detainees' health conditions, especially those suffering from chronic or incurable diseases such as cancer, Bahrain's Ministry of Interior is doing its best to assist some institutions, like the Ombudsman and the National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR), in denying these violations."

The inmate has the right to freely access the necessary treatment when needed, the BFHR stressed, and if it is not available in the prison clinic, they have the right to be transferred to public hospitals. The deteriorating conditions in Bahrain's prisons have led some of those deprived of treatment to extract their teeth with the help of their cellmates, the BFHR said.

The BFHR recalled torture victim, Mohammad Sahwan, who died on March 16, 2017, as a result of deprivation of care for injuries in his back, legs, and head from the internationally-banned birdshot pellets of a shotgun, due to the use of excessive force by security members on April 17, 2011. The victim did not receive appropriate and necessary treatment for 80 shrapnel in his head, during the period of his arbitrary detention, even though he requested that multiple times from the prison administration and the Public Prosecution, but they refused, the BFHR noted, adding that his case was one of the unforgettable cases of severe deprivation of treatment.

The BFHR emphasized that the prevalence of various forms of ill-treatment in prisons and detention centers confirms Bahrain's failure to commit to its international obligations to put in place the necessary measures to prevent torture and abuses, stipulated by international and local laws. It also stressed that the policy of impunity and the absence of judicial supervision of places of detention make these practices prevalent in Bahrain's prisons, many of which take place during or before the interrogation to pressure detainees to make confessions against themselves or their cellmates, to be later used in the prosecutions, in clear violation of the defendant's right to remain silent and not to be forced to testify or plead guilty.

Arabic Version