Bahrain: Political Prisoners

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 18th September 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to reports of the treatment of political prisoners (a) Sheikh Zuhair Ashoor, (b) Mohamed Sarhan,(c) Mohamed Fakrawi, (d) Ali Al-Wazir and (e) Sadiq Al-Qasra in Jau Prison, Bahrain, if he will make representations to his Bahraini counterpart on the (i) conditions in detention and (ii) treatment of those prisoners.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government of Bahrain has made clear that access to appropriate medical care for those in detention continues to be guaranteed, which means under normal circumstances that any prisoner wishing to see a doctor is taken to the prison clinic, with referral to specialist facilities where required; but that as part of Bahrain's COVID-19 precautions, all initial medical consultations now take place via video calls. Where necessary, physical appointments with external medical specialists continue to be available, although, in line with guidance issued by the World Health Organization, prisoners seeing external specialists are required to isolate for 10 days in a separate detention facility before returning to prison ensuring the safety of both patients and medical staff. We welcome these assurances from the Government of Bahrain, urge continued transparency and would encourage those with any concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

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