Rights groups condemn jail term extensions for 57 inmates in Bahrain

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SHAFAQNA- Three rights groups in Bahrain have condemned recent jail term extensions for at least 57 Bahraini prisoners.

In a Friday joint statement, the Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights issued a statement slamming the new term extensions for the detainees.

Bahraini authorities on January 25 increased the jail terms of 57 people by an additional 15 years on top of the jail time they had already been serving because of a riot that broke out in the prison they are in.

The riot happened in March 2015 in the infamous Jaw Prison, which is the largest prisoner facility in Bahrain and is used to hold peaceful protesters who participated in anti-regime demonstrations. The Bahraini regime claimed those whose jail terms were increased were involved in the riot.

Last May, Human Rights Watch called for an independent investigation into allegations that security forces used “excessive force” to quell the March unrest at the jail and later mistreated prisoners.

In their Friday statement, the rights groups also slammed the “physical torture, degrading treatment and overcrowding which remains the reason behind the systematic failure of the prison system in Bahrain.”

Since 2011, Bahrainis have held protests on an almost daily basis against the ruling Al Khalifah regime. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on demonstrations.

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