The Freedoms and Human Rights Department in Al Wefaq National Islamic Society expresses its grave concern over news received about the conditions of the prisoners in Jau prison. Families of prisoners complained to the Department about mistreatment and inadequate basic humanitarian needs like water and air-conditioning despite the very hot weather. The families also complained that their jailed sons have been subjected to assaults by the officers.
The prison cells are overcrowded with more than 100 prisoners in each ward. The prison cells have become short of beds and many prisoners find no place to sleep in other than the corridors.
The Department is repeatedly receiving complaints of various human rights violations such as cruel and degrading treatment, torture and being held incommunicado.
Other human rights violations relate to not informing the prisoners of their rights and complain-procedure, failure to provide proper food, ventilation and health facilities.
Some forms of violations also relate to communication with family and friends and the outside world, education, religious rituals, physical exercise. Many prisoners also suffer from a lack of adequate medical care for prisoners with chronic diseases such as sickle cell.
The Freedoms and Human Rights Department finds the reports issued by human rights State-institutions useless as long as the Authority is not making any effort to improve the human rights situation of the prisoners. To date, these prisoners continue to suffer from the very same violations mentioned in the Ombudsman report that was issued last September.
The situation of the prisoners must be improved immediately in respect of universal human rights standards and the conventions which Bahrain is part of. Those involved in the practice of human rights violations are criminals who deserve to be punished.