The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) received, with sadness and sorrow, the news of the death of the detainee Abbas Hassan Malalla (50 years old) in Jaw Central Prison building following a heart attack this morning, Tuesday, April 6, 2021. This afternoon, the Ministry of Interior announced the death of one of the prisoners, and claimed that he fell after leaving the bathroom and that he had received the necessary health care.
Abbas Malalla, was one of the victims of oppression and ill-treatment, as he was subjected to direct bullets (shotgun) during his arrest, which caused injuries and pain in his lower back up to his legs. His family had previously reported his poor health and not receiving adequate treatment inside the prison. In addition, the former president of BCHR had reported, through his Twitter account, that he had brought Malalla to the court, unable to walk as a result of the torture he was subjected to after his arrest.
The victim, Abbas Malalla, served 10 years of his sentence, which reached 15 years and 6 months, and despite his illnesses, some of which were exacerbated by torture. Although he deserved to receive alternative punishments, he was completely neglected and his family was targeted. Before his death, he was suffering from several diseases, including ulcers in the stomach and colon, and severe pains in his back and legs.
Malalla was arrested and referred to the military judiciary, which was handling cases related to the political situation in the country at the time, where he was charged with attempted murder with premeditation, in addition to gathering, and the National Safety Court issued a sentence of 15 years imprisonment for attempted murder and 6 months for gathering.
In a step that violated the principle of individual punishment, the Ministry of Housing withdrew the unit that was allocated to his family after he was sentenced, despite his family’s continuous attempt to obtain that unit.
Malalla is the 75th detainee after 74 prisoners have died in prisons in Bahrain since 2011.
Despite the Ministry of Interior’s announcement that Malalla had died from a heart attack, there are doubts about the detainee’s failure to receive adequate and prompt health care, which led to his death. BCHR had monitored many cases in which detainees claimed that they did not receive medical care and that there were no specialized doctors in the prison clinic, which made providing adequate treatment difficult and sometimes impossible. In addition, the denial of Malalla from getting out of prison as part of the procedures for applying alternative penalties, despite fulfilling the conditions, raises questions and doubts about the seriousness of the Ministry of Interior in implementing this law.
The Center believes that what detainees are subjected to in Jaw Prison violates the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and based on all of the above, BCHR calls on the authorities to the following:
- Release of detainees who have been arrested in connection with issues related to the political and human rights situation in Bahrain since 2011;
- open an impartial and independent investigation into the death of Abbas Malalla, and hold accountable those responsible for his death;
- adhere to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules”;
- adopt strict health standards in light of the spread of the Corona pandemic.