statement – Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji and Jawad Parweez

Due to the lack of proper medical care inside prison…

The families of two political detainees, Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji and Jawad Parweez, show lots of concern for their lives inside prison.

Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji who was arrested from his home in the early morning hours of July 1st, 2014, to serve a one year prison sentence for “insulting the king”, had suffered internal bleeding in his brain back in 2011 following several weeks of intense torture inside prison that mainly targeted his head and face. Dr. Al-Samahiji’s family who has recently visited him inside prison on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014, claimed that Dr. Al-Samahiji complained that he has been denied the access to his medications, while health professionals in Jaw Clinic stressed the necessity of him taking his medications on regular basis.

Two days later, Dr. Alsamahiji’s family reported that the prison authorities have given him the access to his medications after his case became known to the public through local press.

His family has also reported that Dr. Al-Samahiji had been denied the access to a hospital even after 16 days of total sleep deprivation due to not taking his medications. Dr. Al-Samahiji also claimed that even though he was promised to see a health care specialist, he wasn’t given an appointment until after two months from now, which raises more concern over his health condition.

In addition to expressing concern over his health condition, Dr. Al-Samahiji’s family  also held the officials along with the prison authorities responsible for his deteriorating condition, and urged the related official human right institutions and communities to look after his health condition and ensure he gets the proper access to medical care.

In this context, it is noteworthy to mention that Dr. Al-Samahiji was severely tortured inside prison which made him suffer internal bleeding in his brain back in August 2011. Although he complained of severe headaches, his requests for medical examination and care were faced with rejection by the prison officials. Finally, he was examined by a fellow detainee, Dr. Toublani, who warned prison officials that Dr. Al-Samahiji might had been suffering from internal bleeding . On official orders, Dr. Al-Samahiji was then transferred to Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, and later to Salmaniya Medical Complex, where he underwent a failed brain surgery, and was finally transferred to a hospital in Jordan to receive the proper medical care.

On the other hand, Hussein Parweez, the son of the independent human rights activist Jawad Parweez claimed that his father is in a critical health condition due to the brutal torture and the harsh living conditions inside prison since 2011, which made him suffer from diabetes and hypertension, a fact that was aggravated by his old age and made him unable to stand or sit for long hours or even sleep at night.

He also claimed that his father is among a group of other detainees who are all living the same poor health conditions without receiving proper medical care despite protesting and sending dozens of complain letters to Jaw authorities who either ignore them or intentionally delay the medical services.

BRAVO asserts that these conditions are not unique to Dr. Al-Samahiji or Parweez, but extends to include all prisoners, as such claims has been heard from hundreds of detainees who all complained of the lack or the delay of medical services for several weeks or even months. They also mentioned the poor and intolerable living conditions inside the prison where prisoners pile up inside small cells in which the number of prisoners exceed the capacity of the space. A space that prisoners find themselves forced to share with a variety of bugs and rodents in very poor health conditions.

BRAVO expresses its deep concern over the poor medical and health conditions of the prisoners inside Bahrain prisons and urges the international institutions and communities along with the UNHCHR and ICRC represented by its regional delegation in Kuwait to work on all levels to improve the conditions of  the prisoners inside Bahrain Prison System.