Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Killing inside Bahraini prisons has a long history, casting a dark shadow over any death that occurs inside the horrific cells, where dozens have died over the past decades.
The Bahraini Ministry of Interior issued on Sunday (February 24, 2019) a statement about the death of a Moroccan detainee in Jaw Central Prison which totally contradicted the narrative of the Moroccan Embassy in Bahrain, regarding the cause of death of the deceased and his stance regarding the offer to extradite him to his country to complete his prison term.
The apparent contradiction raises a serious question about the reality of what the prisoner was subjected to. His mother said in a video that he was tortured for a whole night by prison officials before his death. The President of the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights called Baqer Darwish demanded establishing a commission of inquiry to find out the truth behind the death of this prisoner. "Without investigation, none of the expatriates will be safe in Bahrain in case they are imprisoned," he added, explaining that the inquiry is the simplest procedure to be done.
The Director-General of Prisons Reformation and Rehabilitation Department Abdulsalam Al-Oraifi said that the Moroccan prisoner Najeeb Mahfouz Ibn Al-Sharqi was admitted to the Salmaniya Medical Complex on February 17, 2019 due to suffering kidney pain and severe anaemia, and the department was informed about his death on February 21. The Moroccan Embassy in Bahrain stated a completely different narrative regarding the cause of death.
On February 21, the Moroccan Embassy issued a statement to the Moroccan media, in which it stated that the prisoner had died "after suffering a brain hemorrhage, upon which he was taken to the hospital and received necessary treatment".
With regards to the fact that the prisoner was not transferred to his country to complete his sentence, the embassy statement noted that it was working on his deportation in coordination with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice so that he would complete serving the prison sentence in Morocco. However, the Director General of Prisons in Bahrain said that the Moroccan prisoner entered prison on June 2, 2014 and refused, in the presence of a delegate from the Moroccan embassy, to be transferred to Morocco to continue his prison term there. There is a dubious contradiction here, as the embassy says it was in the process of deporting the prisoner to Morocco, while the Bahraini side says the prisoner refused to be transferred to his country to continue his prison term.
The Bahraini statement indicated that the prisoner had been harassed inside the prison, stating that the mother of the Moroccan prisoner had already complained to the reform and rehabilitation department that he was harassed by some inmates, adding that the complaint was answered and he was transferred to another building, according to the statement.
The Bahraini authorities have a history of torture and killings in prisons, especially in recent years, where a number of prisoners have been killed, such as martyrs: Karim Fakhrawi, Zakariya Al-Ashiri, Ali Saqr, Jaafar Yousef Hasan, Abdulaziz Ayyad, and Hasan Jassim Al-Fardan. Other prisoners died due to medical negligence such as martyrs: Mohammad Mushaima, Jaafar Al-Dirazi, and Jaber Al-Alawiyat, who died only one day after he was released from prison.
The Moroccan Center for Human Rights said in a statement that a delegation from the Moroccan Centre for Human Rights visited the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Rabat "to request a meeting with the Ambassador of Bahrain to discuss the issue of the citizen who was detained in Bahrain prisons. The meeting wasn't held, and the embassy subsequently corresponded with the embassy via the official email, as directed by an official at the office, to help seek pardon for the Moroccan citizen detained in Bahrain, or to allow him to serve the remainder of the sentence here in Morocco, but the center did not receive any reply. The mother also did not receive any response over the past two years, either from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of Morocco in Bahrain."