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Independent Ombudsman receives 105 requests for assistance from families, relatives

Manama, 18/03/2015 (BNA) -- The Independent Ombudsman has engaged with the events that occurred in Jau Prison last week and has taken all necessary actions and within its mandate and authority.
The Independent Ombudsman's Office stated that it has received 105 requests for assistance from the families and relatives of Jau Prison inmates regarding their condition, and inquiring about visits and telephone calls at the facility.

The Director of Monitoring of Prisons and Detention Facilities at the Independent Ombudsman's Office, Hamad Salman Taqi, stated that a team of investigators was sent to Jau Prison to look into the concerns and requests raised by the families. The investigators met 124 inmates and interviewed them regarding the conditions of the facility and the services provided. 15 of the interviewed inmates filed a complaint to the investigators regarding different issues.

Investigations have been opened regarding these complaints in accordance with Ombudsman procedures and will keep complainants updated about the progress and outcome of these cases. Taqi added that they have also been in contact with the Prison Administration regarding the inquiries.

The Prison Administration has asserted the basic needs of the inmates at the facility are being met and have not been disrupted and that telephone and visitation services are ongoing in accordance the set schedule, rules, and regulations of the facility. The Prison Administration also added that working telephone cabins are currently overloaded due to the damage some of them received as a result of riotous activity last week. Consequently, a number of inmates have been disciplined administratively and have had their telephone or visitation privileges temporarily suspended.

Taqi concluded that the Ombudsman will inform families and relatives about the outcome of the interviews with the inmates at Jau Prison. He also affirmed that the Ombudsman welcomes any requests from any member of public on any issues relating to Ombudsman's mandate.