Breaking: Bahraini Prisoners Pause Month-Long Hunger Strike Prior to Royal U.S. Visit

Ahead of a scheduled visit by the crown prince to the United States, hundreds of prisoners in Bahrain have suspended their month-long hunger strike according to an advocacy group. The suspension is temporary and dependent on promised changes at Jaw Rehabilitation and Reform Center.

International

-Sathish Raman

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Google Oneindia News

In
the
wake
of
a
month-long
hunger
strike
by
hundreds
of
prisoners
in
Bahrain,
an
advocacy
group
has
announced
its
temporary
suspension.
The
Bahrain
Institute
for
Rights
and
Democracy
(BIRD)
stated
that
this
decision
was
taken
as
some
inmates
faced
health
issues
due
to
the
prolonged
protest.
This
pause
is
also
aimed
at
observing
if
the
promised
reforms
by
Bahrain’s
government
will
be
implemented
at
the
Jaw
Rehabilitation
and
Reform
Center.

Promise
of
Reforms

Bahrain Prisoners Hunger Strike

The
proposed
changes
include
limiting
solitary
confinement,
expanding
visitation
rights,
increasing
daylight
hours
for
inmates,
and
enhancing
healthcare
facilities
within
the
prison.
These
amendments
were
put
forth
following
widespread
dissent
among
prisoners
against
existing
conditions.
However,
BIRD
has
warned
that
if
these
changes
are
not
implemented
by
September
30th,
the
hunger
strike
will
resume.

Crown
Prince’s
Visit
to
Washington

The
advocacy
group
has
linked
this
development
with
Crown
Prince
Salman
bin
Hamad
Al
Khalifa’s
impending
visit
to
Washington
this
week.
They
suggest
that
diplomatic
pressures
might
have
influenced
Bahrain’s
government
into
promising
these
reforms.

Bahrain
Government’s
Response

The
Bahraini
authorities
acknowledged
the
suspension
of
hunger
strikes
in
their
statement
to
The
Associated
Press
(AP).
They
confirmed
that
visiting
hours
had
been
reorganized
while
open-air
access
for
prisoners
was
increased
along
with
an
expansion
in
contact
lists
permitted
for
inmates.
This
response
signifies
a
potential
shift
towards
more
humane
treatment
within
correctional
facilities
and
could
mark
a
significant
milestone
in
prisoner
rights
within
Bahrain.

Hunger
Strike:
A
Decade-Long
Dissent

This
month-long
hunger
strike
represents
one
of
the
longest
sustained
demonstrations
of
dissent
since
Saudi
Arabia
and
other
Gulf
states
aided
Bahrain
ten
years
ago
amidst
political
unrest
during
Arab
Spring
uprisings.
It
underscores
both
persistent
human
rights
concerns
as
well
as
growing
prisoner
discontent
over
living
conditions
within
correctional
facilities
across
the
country.

In
conclusion,
the
suspension
of
this
month-long
hunger
strike
in
Bahrain
presents
a
glimmer
of
hope
for
prisoner
rights
within
the
nation.
It
highlights
the
potential
impact
of
international
diplomacy
and
advocacy
groups
on
influencing
prison
reforms.
However,
it
also
underscores
the
urgent
need
for
these
promised
changes
to
be
implemented
swiftly
and
effectively.
If
not,
Bahrain
may
witness
a
resumption
of
protests
that
could
further
tarnish
its
human
rights
record.
This
development
serves
as
an
important
reminder
that
while
political
negotiations
continue
at
high-level
diplomatic
circles,
their
real
impact
is
often
felt
most
acutely
on
those
languishing
in
prisons
awaiting
justice
and
humane
treatment.

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