Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Al-Wefaq Shura Member Mahdi Al-Ekri, who was released from prison on June 14, 2015, started off by recalling the video of "Roumieh Prison torture" during an interview with Bahrain Mirror. He recalled how many reactions that video received on the local Lebanese and international levels, even though the harsh conditions that Jaw Prison inmates are suffering from are much severer, as Bahraini detainees are still held in tents despite the rise of temperatures and the start of the month of Ramadan which made the prisoners suffer even more.
The Tents, Heat of Summer and Hunger of Ramadan
Al-Ekri says that the tents in which the prisoners are held since the March 2015 events are made of nylon and are 8m x 18m in size. As summer came and the temperatures rose, these tents turned into a burning hell, for the material they are made from are the same material used in making plastic sheet greenhouse agricultural tents, he added, stressing that the property of this material is that it stores heat, thus the temperature inside the tent rises as high as 41 or even more. Hence, over 200 prisoners are living in scorching high temperatures, besides being deprived of cold drinking water in this very hot weather.
Al-Ekri states that due to the high temperature inside the tent during the day, some prisoners leave the tent and cover themselves with the sheets they have outside. They; however, are then forced to return to the flaming hot tent under the orders of the Jordanian police officers, which led a number of prisoners to lose their consciousness, including Al-Ekri, who was fasting.
Some of the detainees proposed some inexpensive solutions that would lower the temperatures inside the tents and sent these proposals to the officers in charge, yet these officers took no heed.
The tent has six air conditioners that usually break down and stay out of order for up to two days, due to the pressure on the electricity generator which makes the sufferings of detainees even worse.
Al-Ekri believes that prison is a place to root and feed sectarianism. When a detainee sees that all the police officers and prison officials are from one sect only "the Sunni sect" while the detainees are from the "Shiite sect", he will face a sickening sectarian apartheid. Al-Ekri denounces that the number of Sunni detainees are only 5 out of 200 being held in the tent. He is enraged by these five prisoners who so confidently say that they will not stay for long in prison because their relatives and friends who hold positions in "the judiciary and public prosecution" will not leave them in prison and that they will be released by the first royal decree to be issued.
Al-Ekri reports that one of the Sunni prisoners who was sentenced to three years imprisonment bragged to him that he is related to one of the judges who will release him before, and he was right for his three-year-sentence turned into a three-month-sentence only.
As for insulting our beliefs, it was all what the Jordanian police did, who are completely in control of the prison. Once, a Jordanian officer grabbed Al-Ekri and asked him: "Are you Shiite or Sunni? When he said that he is a Shiite, the officer said: "We do not like you, you are the cavities in our teeth!!" This happens over and over again to prisoners during the day. Whenever, a detainee says that he is a Shiite, he gets insulted and beaten.
The call to prayer (Adhan) was banned from being recited in Jaw Prison since the March events; only Shiite prisoners were prohibited from it. Sheikh Jasem Al-Damestani was severely beaten by a group of police officers because one of the detained Sunni Sheikhs who support ISIS purposely reported him claiming that he cursed the [Prophet's] "companions" in his prayers.
No End to the Torture of the ISIS Police Forces
The Jordanian police in prison brag that they assured the Jaw Prison administration that the events that took place on March, 10, 2015 will not happen again, and that nothing similar will occur in Bahraini prisons in the next two years. This as they punished and tortured detainees who claim that they have never witnessed such torture neither during interrogation nor during the 1990s.
The situation in Jaw Prison is still aggravated; the beatings and insults have not stopped. A number of detainees resorted to entering hunger strikes, hoping that the abuse they are facing will end, the conditions they are living in inside the tents will be improved and they will be provided with cold drinking water. Although the officers in charge admit that these are simple demands, the detainees haven't obtained anything yet.