OHCHR / BAHRAIN PRISON CONDITIONS

30-Apr-2021 00:02:13
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is “disturbed by the use of unnecessary and disproportionate force by police special forces to dismantle a peaceful sit-in in Bahrain’s Jau prison on 17 April,” a spokesperson told reporters in Geneva. UNTV CH
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STORY: OHCHR / BAHRAIN PRISON CONDITIONS
TRT: 02:13
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 30 April 2021 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are disturbed by the use of unnecessary and disproportionate force by police special forces to dismantle a peaceful sit-in in Bahrain’s Jau prison on 17 April.”
3. Wide shot, podium
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“According to accounts received from eyewitnesses of the incident, special forces threw stun grenades and beat detainees on their heads, badly injuring many of them.”
5. Wide shot, podium
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The authorities reportedly took 33 protestors to another building in the prison, where they are being kept incommunicado, and have been unable to make contact with families or lawyers, in violation of both national and international law.”
7. Wide shot, podium
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The inmates had been protesting about conditions of detention, in particular the lack of access to medical treatment. The sit-in began on 5 April, after a political prisoner, Abbas Mal Allah, died after reportedly being denied timely access to essential health care. The lack of health care in the overcrowded Bahraini prisons has been an issue for years, but has become a chronic problem during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
9. Wide shot, podium
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We call on the Government to immediately launch a thorough and effective investigation into the violent repression of the sit-in at Jau prison. We also urge them to provide information on the well-being of the 33 prisoners currently held in incommunicado detention, and to ensure they are able to contact their lawyers and families.”
11. Wide shot, briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“In addition, we call on the authorities to take effective steps to ensure the timely provision of medical treatment for inmates as and when needed.”
13. Wide shot, podium
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We call on the authorities to consider releasing more detainees to ease prison congestion, and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading throughout the prison population. In particular, those being detained for expression of critical or dissenting views, protected by international human rights law, should be released immediately.”
STORYLINE
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is "disturbed by the use of unnecessary and disproportionate force by police special forces to dismantle a peaceful sit-in in Bahrain’s Jau prison on 17 April.”

Speaking to reporters today (30 Apr), OHCHR’s Spokesperson Marta Hurtado said, “according to accounts received from eyewitnesses of the incident, special forces threw stun grenades and beat detainees on their heads, badly injuring many of them.”

Hurtado said, “the authorities reportedly took 33 protestors to another building in the prison, where they are being kept incommunicado, and have been unable to make contact with families or lawyers, in violation of both national and international law.”

She also said, “the inmates had been protesting about conditions of detention, in particular the lack of access to medical treatment. The sit-in began on 5 April, after a political prisoner, Abbas Mal Allah, died after reportedly being denied timely access to essential health care,” adding that “the lack of health care in the overcrowded Bahraini prisons has been an issue for years, but has become a chronic problem during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Spokesperson called on the Government to “immediately launch a thorough and effective investigation into the violent repression of the sit-in at Jau prison.”

She also urged them to “provide information on the well-being of the 33 prisoners currently held in incommunicado detention, and to ensure they are able to contact their lawyers and families.”

In addition, Hurtado said, “we call on the authorities to take effective steps to ensure the timely provision of medical treatment for inmates as and when needed.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, several decrees have been issued granting special pardons to 1,253 prisoners, and a total of 1,747 offenders have benefited from alternative sanctions, according to the Public Prosecution. There may be some overlap between these two groups.

The Spokesperson said, “we call on the authorities to consider releasing more detainees to ease prison congestion, and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading throughout the prison population. In particular, those being detained for expression of critical or dissenting views, protected by international human rights law, should be released immediately.”
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