Ombudsman: Inmate's allegations baseless

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Manama, Sept. 30 (BNA): The Office of the Ombudsman said that it has followed up on the allegations made by some human rights organisations regarding the condition of the Jau Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre’s inmate, Abduljalil Al-Miqdad.

Those organisations claimed that the inmate had been assaulted by the Public Security personnel, denied adequate medical care and the necessary treatment, and had been subjected to mistreatment by using a non-air-conditioned bus to transport him to and from the Jau Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre.

The Office of the Ombudsman launched its investigations into the matter according to its approved professional mechanism. A team visited the Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre in Jau on Thursday, 29 September.

An investigator from the team tried to meet the aforementioned inmate to be informed about his statement, but he refused. However, the team interviewed the centre’s management, and heard their testimony. It also reviewed the records and documents that proved the movement of the inmate in the place and the date referred to in the allegations. It also viewed the security surveillance camera recordings related to the allegations.

In its statement, the Office of the Ombudsman clarified that it had not received any complaints or requests for assistance from the aforementioned inmate on any issues, whether related to the conditions of his presence in the place or the level of health care provided to him, so far this year.

It also affirmed that it had listened to several audio recordings attributed to the inmate and posted on social media sites to find out about his complaint.

The statement also indicated that the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigators had reviewed the records of the inmate's movements to be informed about the condition of the bus in which he was transported. The bus was inspected by one of the Office’s investigators to verify the efficiency of its air-conditioner, and the records of the periodic maintenance of this bus.

The Office of the Ombudsman indicated that its team had concluded that the aforementioned inmate had refused to go to the medical appointment set for him after being notified that the treating doctor would not attend and that another doctor would replace him. He then left the bus and provoked the security forces by verbally insulting them. In response, the security personnel took legal measures by filing a complaint against him, which is currently being examined by the Public Prosecution.

In addition, the surveillance camera recordings proved that the inmate was not subjected to any assault by the Public Security Forces, which was evident from the audio recordings attributed to the same inmate, during which he admitted that he had not been physically assaulted. He claimed that there was an attempt to assault him, an allegation that was also not proven true through camera recordings. The recordings also showed that there were not any other inmates accompanying the inmate during the alleged incident so that their testimony could be heard.

Regarding allegations of mistreatment, the Office’s investigators said that they had inspected the bus in question and found no defect in its air conditioner during the previous period.

Concerning allegations of poor healthcare, the team said that it had examined the medical reports received from the Directorate of Health and Social Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, and found that all the medical problems mentioned in the allegations had previously been reported to the specialised doctors, and they were diagnosed and examined at the Jau centre and in external medical institutions, and the appropriate medication was prescribed and dispensed for him.

The team also found that the aforementioned inmate also had several medical appointments in the coming period inside the centre and in external hospitals.

In this context, the Office of the Ombudsman also contacted the management of the Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre, in coordination with the Health and Social Affairs Directorate at the Ministry of Interior, and an alternative medical appointment had already been booked for the aforementioned inmate Instead of the appointment to which he had refused to go of his own will.

Concluding its statement, the Office of the Ombudsman affirmed its keenness on the interests of those who submit complaints to it, especially inmates, prisoners and detainees, stressing that it is doing its utmost to achieve justice for them and work to settle their requests, whether living, health or humanitarian, in general, through continuous cooperation with the competent authorities in the Ministry of Interior and other relevant ministries.