Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Human Rights activists have stressed that political prisoners did not benefit from the special amnesty decree issued by Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
On April 12, the King issued a royal decree pardoning and releasing 91 prisoners sentenced in various cases, after having served part of the prison terms issued against them.
Bahrain Mirror asked a human rights defender inside Bahrain whether the recent royal pardon for 91 prisoners included political prisoners. "So far, no," he said.
For his part, head of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) in London, Ahmed Al-Wadaei, confirmed that he received information from inside prison indicating that convicts in drug cases benefited from the royal pardon.
Al-Wadaei said, via his Twitter account, that "in one of the buildings under the Jaw Prison administration, the royal pardon included 11 convicts."
He added that "eight of them are Bangladeshi nationals convicted in criminal cases, in addition to two Bahraini citizens convicted in drug cases, and a third convicted in a criminal case."
A number of political prisoners have recently benefited from the alternative penal code, but the numbers that have benefited from it are considered minimal in comparison to the huge number of prisoners in Bahrain.