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Dozens of Political Prisoners in Jaw Prison Develop Coronavirus Symptoms amid Interior Ministry Blackout

2022-01-17 - 3:14 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Dozens of political detainees, who are sentenced to long prison terms, have developed Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms for nearly a week, amid silence and blackout by the prison administration and the Interior Ministry.

A number of detainees stressed that "the wards where found the political prisoners with long sentences are full of Coronavirus symptoms such as high temperature and fatigue. The prison clinic is overflowing with reviewers, while some of them have been sent to isolation for two days or more. Despite our appeals to clinic officials, they don't tell us whether we have Coronavirus or not"

The Jaw Prison Clinic only conducts a rapid test for prisoners with symptoms and does not conduct the ministry of health approved test, in a procedure adopted since last year after the outbreak of the virus in prison, in order to prevent families from knowing the truth about the infection of their sons, and to prevent confirmed news of the spread of the virus inside the prison to the human rights groups concerned with monitoring the conditions of detainees locally and internationally.

In case the tests approved by the Ministry of Health are conducted, the results appear publicly on the ministry's website, and can be checked by using a personal number. This happened last year and the families of the detainees knew about their sons' infections although the interior ministry denied the results.

"The ministry of interior's blackout is serious, as it does not carry out the usual tests of prisoners with symptoms and does not tell them the results of the rapid test. Besides, those sent to isolation are prevented from contacting their families during the period of isolation, which is dangerous because we have witnessed death among prisoners last year, like martyr Hussein Barakat who died after contracting Coronavirus and due to negligence of Jaw Prison administration," one activist tells Bahrain Mirror.

Barakat died in June 2021 after being infected with Coronavirus inside the prison. Human rights activist held the government full responsibility for his death.

Bahrain registered on Saturday (January 15, 2022) 2,542 new positive cases and one death, according to the Ministry of Health.

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