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Bahraini prison water supply cut off for days: Rights group

This file photo shows Bahraini police forces at the notorious Jaw Prison, south of Manama, Bahrain.

Guards at Bahrain’s Jaw Prison have cut off water in the notorious penitentiary for days and deprived the inmates of taking shower and using toilets as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown against opposition figures and pro-democracy activists in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) said in a statement on Saturday that the only means of hygiene in the prison was water, which prison officers “intentionally shut off for three consecutive days last week.”

The BFHR statement added that Jaw Prison guards also refused to provide the inmates with adequate food portions.

The rights group also pointed to the practice of intentional negligence when detainees sought medical attention from prison authorities, arguing such conduct had resulted in the deterioration of the health condition of many political detainees, including Elias Mullah, who is being denied adequate treatment for his colon cancer.

Hundreds of inmates are kept in the Jaw Prison, Bahrain’s central detention facility, for their participation in peaceful pro-democracy rallies.

This file photo shows a view of a cell at the notorious Jaw Prison, south of Manama, Bahrain.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.   

Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.

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