Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): "I want them to return my son as healthy as they took him," said the mother of cancer victim Sayed Kadhem Abbas Al-Sehlawi (23) when he was released in 2018, after his health condition sharply deteriorated.
Every time Kadhem complains about his illness to the prison administration, they answer him with: "Why? What's wrong with you?" His demand to be transferred to the hospital was not answered. Whenever his family appealed to the prison administration to take their son to be examined, they received the same answer. Al-Sehlawi suffered from medical negligence for 62 days during which he experienced severe pain in his stomach, back and nose. After his situation became worse, the prison administration transferred him to the hospital. His family was shocked that their son was diagnosed with brain cancer.
The authorities did not listen to appeals from his family, who issued a request for his release. Al-Sehlawi then underwent a serious operation at the military hospital that lasted for 4 hours. The results of the operation were frustrating, as he lost his sight and was sent back to prison after he was rendered blind. After the prison administration was certain that the prisoner was in a deteriorating state of health, he was released in July 2018.
The smiley and handsome youth was taken on June 30, 2015 and sentenced to 5 years in prison. He was healthy at the time; however, his life completely changed. His mother said "he never complained before of a disease," adding that she doesn't "remember him seeing a doctor or hospital all his life, just taking vaccination doses when he was a child." Kadhem was a young athlete known for his vitality, vigor and heart-warming presence. The authorities snatched him away from his family and brought him back with a huge tumor in the head, a weak body and blind eyes.
This is the same story political prisoners in Bahrain experience; the repeated negligence that aggravates the disease of the prisoners before the prison administration notices them and decides to take them to the hospital for examination and treatment. In order to wash their hands of any responsibility, the authorities release some prisoners only after their health condition worsens and becomes uncontrollable.
Civil societies collected about 72,000 BD for Kadhem's treatment and he was sent for treatment in the United States, but he was in poor health and continued to suffer until he passed away very recently.
A few days before Al-Sehlawi's death, Bahrainis were distressed with the death of Hameed Khatem, a victim of stomach cancer who was diagnosed with the disease while in prison. He was only released after his health worsened. Dozens of sick prisoners in Jaw Central Prison live in conditions similar to what late Khatem and Al-Sehlawi suffered. In fact, disturbing symptoms indicate that some prisoners may be suffering from the disease, yet they do not receive the attention or the least amount of health care for early detection.
The most painful question remains: Who killed Kadhem Al-Sehlawi?