Sep 29, 2022 13:38 UTC
  • Detained Bahraini Shia cleric denied medical care, subjected to physical assault: Rights group

Abduljalil al-Miqdad, a political detainee and a leading Shia cleric has been assaulted at Bahrain’s notorious Jau Prison en route to a medical appointment, as the Manama regime keeps up harassment of imprisoned political dissidents.

According to Press TV, Al-Miqdad, 62, is the founder of a Shia opposition political group in Bahrain. He has been in prison for 11 years and is serving a life sentence for his role in the 2011 uprising.

He was due to be transferred out of the notorious Jau Prison on Tuesday for an external medical appointment. Still, before the transfer he was told that a doctor would not be present, al-Miqdad recounted in a phone call with Sayed Ahmed al-Wadaei, Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Bird).

He said he would not attend the appointment if there were no doctors, therefore, asked by a prison officer to sign a statement, declaring that he was rejecting medical treatment, but al-Miqdad refused.

His refusal to sign the statement was met with aggression, he told the rights group, adding that a group of officers attempted to beat him while verbally abusing him.

Other officers intervened and stopped the physical assault before he was returned to his cell, he said.

"This is a violent assault attempt without any exaggeration," al-Miqdad said. "The reason is revenge, aggression, injustice, and targeting."

The Bahraini Ministry of Interior dismissed his report as "incorrect," claiming "there was no mistreatment or infringement."

However, according to Bird, al-Miqdad has been subjected to "deliberate medical negligence," despite suffering a range of health conditions, including chronic headaches, swelling in his leg which restricts his movement, cataracts in his eyes, and a slipped vertebrae disc.

In his phone call with the rights group, he also held the UK government accountable for this situation urging it to pressure Manama to stop human rights abuses.