Serious Deterioration of Humanitarian Situation: Outbreak of Scabies in Jaw Prison

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SHAFAQNA –  The humanitarian situation in Jaw Prison has seriously deteriorated as scabies spread among prisoners, who are still being held in tents placed in the yard next to block 4, since the events of March 10 took place. Prisoners are suffering from burrows on their faces and bodies, some are small and red and others are dark lines on the skin, especially around the wrists and ankles and on the webs of fingers and toes. In some cases, the burrows developed into rashes.

The reason behind the outbreak of this skin disease is the filth that the prisoners are forced to live in. Their clothes are still dirty, drenched with blood, as a result of torture, urine and feces, and they are not allowed to change them. The detainees are only allowed to use the restroom twice a day, not to mention that the prisoners are forced to urinate at the fence. In order to humiliate and degrade the prisoners, interior ministry officers take some of them to the place where they urinate and order them to roll around in the dirt soaked in urine, and then they take them back to their tents. The spread of filth lead to the outbreak of various skin diseases, including scabies.

Jaw prisoners suffer even more when they go to the restrooms in the times they are allowed too, for interior ministry officers start to beat and torture them while they are on their way. They also ask them if they are married. If they say “yes”, they hit them on their genitals. The detainees stand in long lines waiting for their turns to use the restroom and are subjected to the most heinous types of abuse and degrading treatment.

The administration of Jaw Prison, which is commonly known as “Guantanamo of Bahrain” due to the policies of brutal torture that it adopts, set two tents for the detainees, after leaving them outside for 10 days. About 318 prisoners were packed in the first tent, while around 315 others were crammed in the second. As for the rest, they were moved to the yard outside block 2.

Many human rights organizations urged Bahraini authorities to put an end to these violations. Bahrain; however, continues to ignore these calls by retaliating against these detainees who were imprisoned over political charges, following sham trials, which led to issuing harsh long-prison sentences based on royal decrees.

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