A group of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Jaw Central prison issued a statement expressing their support for the statement issued by Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim on Thursday (April 2, 2020) and appealed to the international community.
The statement read “we, a group of prisoners of conscience, in Jaw Central Prison, launch an appeal to the international community and human rights organizations and decision-making circles around the world to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Bahrain’s prisons.”
“We extend gratitude to Sheikh Isa Qassim’s statement that dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s and warned of the bad consequences in case the Coronavirus is transmitted to the prison, demanding the Government of Bahrain to release the prisoners,” the statement added.
“We would like to add that, in addition to the concern and risk of the transmission of the Coronavirus pandemic, the prison administration continues to neglect healthcare and cancel or postpone many of the necessary medical appointments for chronic ill people,” the prisoners continued.
“Despite the exceptional situation in the world with Coronavirus disease which requires taking most safety and precautionary measures, we are still demanding, amid this condition, to be provided with health equipment and given attention on the health level, in addition, sanitization of prison buildings which house hundreds of prisoners.”
“Due to our knowledge and bitter experience with the existing prison policy, our loss of hope and confidence in oversight institutions such as the Ombudsman, the National Institute for Human Rights and the lack of potentials required to deal with the emerging COVID-19 disease, the solution that will protect the lives and safety of prisoners is releasing them as soon as possible, like countries that started emptying prisons, in response to the call of the World Health Organization, and in order to prevent a disaster,” they further added.
The prisoners thanked “all those who support us in this ordeal”, and praised “the step of shouting Allah is Great from the rooftops this night (Friday, April 3),” adding,”we intend to do the same from inside the prison.”
The statement concluded by saying: “While we appeal to human rights organizations and political decision-making circles around the world to carry out their duties of intervening to prevent a disaster, we affirm our confidence and our trust in God alone. God has made the stories of previous nations a lesson to be considered. He conquered the tyrants with the weakest creatures, to teach people that power is for Him only. If the authorities are aware, it will learn from the Coronavirus, and be sure that the true power is in God’s hands.”