At HRC39 ADHRB raises concern about conditions in Bahrain’s Jau Prison

On Tuesday 18 September, at the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, ADHRB delivered an oral intervention under the Item 4 General Debate calling attention to the poor conditions in Bahrain’s Jau Prison – the kingdom’s primary long-term detention center. In particular, ADHRB raised concern about the unsanitary conditions of cells, reprisals against activists, and punitive collective punishment measures. Click here for a PDF of the intervention.

Mr. President,

Alsalam and ADHRB wish to call the Council’s attention to the poor conditions in Bahrain’s Jau Prison, the kingdom’s primary, long-term detention center. Violence against prisoners is common, and they are routinely denied medical care, while wider conditions violate international minimum detention standards, and political prisoners are singled out for particular abuse.

Jau’s living conditions are inhumane, and the government’s mass incarceration of activists has pushed it beyond its capacity. Facilities are unhygienic and conducive to disease, with rotten food attracting insects into cells so cramped that many inmates must sleep in the hallways.

Conditions have further deteriorated under the new commander of Bahrain’s prison system, Brigadier Abdulsalam Youssef al-Oraifi. One group of officers – identified as Officer Badr al-Ruwayi, Lieutenant Hasan Khalil, Lieutenant Hassan Qambar, and Captain Mohammed Abdul-Hamid – are reported to specifically target high-profile prisoners for reprisal. During the extreme heat of the summer, authorities have also arbitrarily cut water to Jau Prison and the Dry Dock Detention Center. Prisoners have reported just one hour of water per day, preventing them from adequately bathing or cleaning. They additionally receive only one cup of water per day, and authorities often deliver it in bleach bottles or other unsuitable containers.

Jau’s many prisoners of conscience face further abuse, including Hasan Mushaima, a 70-year-old political prisoner. He and others have been denied access to necessary medicine and visits to the health clinic, and have faced wide-ranging inhumane restrictions and degrading treatment.

We call on the Council to urge Bahrain to release all political prisoners, including Hassan Mushaima, and to ensure all detainees are accorded their fundamental rights.

Thank you.