Sunday, January 01, 2006

For the record...

From today's Gulf Daily News:

Society makes new Jaw visit

THE second of a series of independent inspections of Bahrain's detention facilities was carried out by Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) at Jaw prison yesterday.

The first visit was conducted last week and the findings of both visits are to be included in the society's Annual Human Rights Report.

A BHRS spokesman said the report would be released in two months, where the conditions of Bahrain prisons will be compared with international criteria drawn up by the UN.

During the two visits, a 15-member team interviewed about 70 prisoners as well as a number of administration staff and made general inspections of the facilities.

Jaw is said to have 550-plus prisoners and 400 security and administrative officials, including 96 with infectious diseases, including three Aids patients, who are kept in separate cellblocks away from other inmates.

Prisoners were asked questions regarding the facilities, cleanliness of toilets, food quality and prisoner treatment. The activists also asked prisoners about any use of violence against them and types of punishment used.

The BHRS is the first non-governmental organisation in the Arab world to visit and interview prisoners.

The society had earlier expressed hopes to conduct inspection visits on an annual basis and send its reports to international organisations concerned with human rights.