Bahrain

Rights Organizations Urge Bahraini Authorities to Release Prisoners

SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR) urged the Bahraini regime to respond to the call of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the immediate release of prisoners as an urgent and humanitarian measure to confront the spread of coronavirus, which has already been undertaken by some states.

The organization expressed its concern of the spread of the virus inside prisons with the escalation of infections, as Bahrain reported 605 cases in one day.

Few days ago, Human Rights Watch said that governments are releasing from jails and prisons far too few people whose continued detention in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic is not justified, based on a global media survey. Available data indicates that the virus is spreading rapidly through jails and prisons, putting detainees, staff, and their families at unacceptable risk.

It pointed out that releases in some countries specifically exclude human rights defenders and others wrongfully imprisoned for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association. In Bahrain, local rights groups estimate that about 400 of the 1,500 detainees released were political prisoners. But the majority of imprisoned human rights defenders, opposition leaders, activists, and journalists – many of them older and/or with underlying medical conditions – remain imprisoned.

It should be pointed out that the Bahraini regime recruits the so-called “National Human Rights Institution” to respond to human rights reports, as it works to publish false counterparts covering the regime’s violations and disregard for the lives of detainees.

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