Document - Bahrain: Allegations of ill-treatment of prisoners



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AI Index: MDE 11/002/2003 (Public)

News Service No: 192

15 August 2003

Bahrain: Allegations of ill-treatment of prisoners

Amnesty International is gravely concerned about the fate of more than 200 common law prisoners who have been on hunger strike for about 10 days in Jaw prison in south Bahrain.

The prisoners are protesting about their ill-treatment and lack of access to lawyers and human rights organizations.

Amnesty International is concerned about the possible deterioration in the health conditions of the striking prisoners. There are allegations that a prisoner, Yasser Makki, has died in custody after a previous hunger strike earlier this year which caused deterioration of his health. However, he was not given access to medical treatment until it was too late.

"Medical treatment should be immediately provided to the prisoners, especially those with deteriorating health condition due to the hunger strike. Prisoners should have immediate access to lawyers and human rights organizations," the organization urged.

Human rights organizations in Bahrain say that they have brought to the attention of the Bahraini authorities the issue of the ill-treatment of the prisoners and are requesting access to these prisoners. However, Bahraini authorities are yet to respond to their request.

"The Bahraini government should initiate an immediate, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of ill-treatment. Those suspected to have been involved in the violation of the prisoners rights should be brought to justice in accordance with international fair trial standards," Amnesty International said.

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