Human rights and international calls for the Bahraini authorities to release political prisoners to prevent the spread of the Corona epidemic among them have escalated.
Bahrainis demonstrated in the town of Sanabis in the north of the Kingdom, yesterday, Wednesday, denouncing the regime’s practices, following the death of a detainee inside the prison as a result of being infected with the Corona virus, amid mounting calls for the authorities to release political prisoners to prevent the spread of the epidemic among them.
The demonstrators chanted angry slogans and cut off a road with burning tires, and this came after a state of security tension that prevailed in the town following a symbolic funeral they organized for the detainee Hussein Barakat, who died yesterday, Wednesday, in a Bahraini prison.
Activists broadcast pictures and video clips of the symbolic funeral of the detainee Barakat, whose death in prison was announced yesterday by the authorities in Bahrain.
— Alwefaq Society (@ALWEFAQ) June 9, 2021
The Bahraini Ministry of Interior and human rights activists said on Wednesday that political prisoner Hussein Barakat, who was serving a life sentence, died of infection with the emerging coronavirus.
The Bahraini authorities stated that Barakat, 48, who received a full vaccination against the virus last March, died after being infected with the virus, and added that he had been transferred from prison to the hospital on May 29, and that his condition required “putting him on a respirator.” And raising the efficiency of the device to the highest level, and his health condition remained unstable until his death.”
The Ministry of Interior said that Barakat “was receiving integrated health care, and regularly received his medicines… in addition to receiving video and telephone communication.”
In turn, the British-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said in a statement that Barakat’s death could have been avoided had the government “accepted the release of political prisoners to prevent the spread of the epidemic.” The second of its kind this year, and resulted in the injury of approximately 60% of the 255 political prisoners in Building No. 12 of Jau Prison.
The institute added that Hussein Barakat was a political prisoner held in Jaw Prison, and that he and 53 others were sentenced to life imprisonment in a mass trial, which included 138 people accused by the authorities of joining a terrorist cell.
Nearly 60% of political prisoners in Building 12 of Jau Prison have been infected since the start of the second outbreak of the virus #coronaAt least 140 inmates were infected during the previous outbreak. The numbers obtained by the organization indicate @ADHRB On the recovery of at least 300 prisoners since the first outbreak: https://t.co/jPs17gR2l2#the two seas
— ADHRB (@ADHRB) June 9, 2021
The opposition Al-Wefaq Society, which is currently banned in Bahrain, has been demanding the release of prisoners of conscience since the start of the Corona virus pandemic, and the Bahraini authorities have released some prisoners, considering that they are at risk like pregnant women.
The Gulf kingdom was subjected to pressure from human rights organizations regarding prison conditions, including overcrowding, lack of public health procedures, and a lack of medical care. Families of Jaw Prison detainees organized protests calling for the release of their relatives and better living conditions. A violent confrontation occurred between prison guards and prisoners last April, when Inmates protested their conditions.
Bahrain, inhabited by about 1.8 million people, has recorded a high daily infection rate since last April, reaching more than 3,000 cases last week, before declining to about 1,041 cases yesterday, Wednesday.
Source : Al Jazeera + Sanad Agency + Social Media