Nov 23, 2020 16:10 UTC
  • Confirming intl. concerns, Bahrain finds coronavirus among inmates

Bahrain says a number of female detainees who are behind bars in the island country because of visa violations have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease.

“The necessary medical measures have been taken to treat those infected, and precautionary measures at the site have been strengthened,” Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior claimed in a Monday post on Twitter.

According to Press TV, the ministry did not mention the detention facility.

Authorities in Manama have not previously reported coronavirus infections among detainees.

The small Persian Gulf Arab kingdom has for years been under pressure from rights advocates over the conditions of its prisons, which are plagued by hygiene problems, lack of medical care, and overcrowding leading to outbreaks of infections.

The inmates, including high-profile individuals, are routinely denied adequate medical care. That in addition to hampered access to legal representation.

The international calls are all aimed at securing the release of those wrongfully held behind bars.

In March, Manama released 1,486 prisoners in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but the releases excluded opposition leaders, activists, journalists, and human rights defenders.

In early April, 20 international rights groups, including the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch, called on the Bahraini regime to release opposition leaders, political activists and journalists amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bahraini regime has been engaged in a heavy-handed crackdown since a popular uprising began in the kingdom back in 2011. Since then, it has detained thousands of activists, who are demanding that the Ale Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.