Bahrain Mirror: A member of the Belgian Senate, Philippe Courard, tabled a written question to the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmes, regarding the current COVID-19 outbreak in Bahraini prisons.
In his question, Senator Courard states that "the worsening of the spread of COVID-19 in Bahraini prisons is a very concerning matter."
He noted that the hygiene and health conditions in Bahraini prisons have been classified as alarming by the recent European Parliament Resolution on the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Courard further pointed out that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged last April states to free prisoners detained without a legal basis as well as political prisoners or those detained for having opinions that criticised the state, for the purpose of avoiding this exact situation that we are now facing in Bahraini prisons.
"The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) has called our attention to this serious issue," he said, adding that "this is a matter for the Senate, as the federated entities have jurisdiction over international matters. The management of the pandemic that has hit the world is also, in my opinion, a matter for all levels of government."
The Senator also asked the Minister whether she has any additional information on the dramatic situation of the prisoners in question, and if there are contacts with her colleagues at other levels of power to respond to this situation.
For their part, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) welcomed this parliamentary question and thanked Senator Courard for bringing attention to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Bahraini prisons and the danger it poses to the imprisoned human rights defenders and political activists in Bahrain.