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Embassy denies abuse of activist in prison

Bahrain News
Sat, 11 Nov 2017
By Raji Unnikrishnan


Bahrain’s embassy in the UK has denied allegations that detained opposition activist Nabeel Rajab was mistreated in prison.

In a statement the mission detailed the timeline of medical assistance provided to Mr Rajab.

The statement was in response to questions received by the embassy since April regarding the healthcare and treatment of Mr Rajab.

“On October 25, Mr Rajab was discharged by his doctor after it was determined that a full recovery had been made following a minor surgery,” said the statement.

“Mr Rajab left the clinic freely, without being handcuffed as has been alleged, and with all his belongings.

“The allegations surrounding his discharge are false and are disproved by CCTV evidence.

“Upon his return and readmission into Jaw prison, Mr Rajab was subject to a routine search and his head was shaved, in line with standard readmission procedures designed to protect inmates and staff.

“The appropriate privacy and decency protections remained in place.”

The embassy also denied claims that Mr Rajab was strip-searched.

“Regarding the allegation that Mr Rajab’s cell was strip-searched during the night, Interior Ministry CCTV footage clearly shows that the search was conducted on the entire prison wing with the use of metal detectors only.

“There were no strip-searches and no acts of misconduct were committed.”

The embassy also provided the Ombudsman’s response on this.

“Whilst it is regrettable that night time random searches disturb sleeping inmates, you will appreciate that illicit substances and weapons in prison cause terrible tragedies and searches are regrettably very necessary,” said the Ombudsman.

The GDN reported in August that the mission in a similar statement said Mr Rajab had undergone two operations since October last year and

has had medical consultations and check-ups at least seven times.

The diplomatic mission also added that Mr Rajab, in his letter to the minister, thanked the medical staff at the Public Security Forces Clinic for their “compassionate treatment”.

Mr Rajab, who was arrested in June 2016, is on trial for allegedly disseminating false information about Bahrain through his Twitter account.

He has also been charged with insulting the Interior Ministry and the Reform and Rehabilitation Centre, as well as spreading false news about Bahrain in an article published by French newspaper Le Monde on December 20.

The GDN previously reported that Mr Rajab was also facing an additional charge for an op-ed he allegedly wrote for The New York Times on September 4.

Timeline

According to the diplomatic mission, Mr Rajab was diagnosed with a “urological/colorectal condition” at BDF Hospital in April this year.

He underwent surgery on April 5 and was discharged on April 7 on the condition that he returned to the hospital on a daily basis for wound care and follow-up.

On April 8, Mr Rajab was taken to the Public Security Forces Clinic for post-operation follow-up.

Mr Rajab also had medical consultations and procedures on July 11, August 8, 13 and 17 for prescriptions and follow-up.

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