Nedal Al-Salman – Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights – valued the step of releasing political prisoners in Bahrain due to the coronavirus epidemic. But she expressed her “disappointment” that the last releasing did not include all prisoners and detainees, and that it did not include the leaders of the opposition, nor significant active detainees such as the legal activist Nabil Rajab – president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).
The Ministry of Interior had declared on Wednesday the completion of releasements of (1486) of those to whom the royal pardon issued on 12 March and the alternative penal code apply. In a statement to Bahrain Interfaith, Al-Salman called for “the release of more prisoners” and for more releases until “prisons are cleared out from prisoners of conscience“. Al-Salman also clarified that the decisions of the government of Bahrain about confronting the coronavirus epidemic enjoy widespread local satisfaction, but remain “incomplete” without notifying citizens about the health security of their children and relatives who are held in prisons. Al-Salman believed that “the best choice for achieving this security is releasing all political prisoners and prisoners of consciousness without restrictions or conditions”.
On the other hand, Al-Salman stressed that the government bears responsibility for citizens who are currently outside of Bahrain, especially those present in countries were coronavirus is epidemic, or those who suffer from severe medical or living conditions abroad and wish to return to Bahrain. She also emphasized that file of Bahraini citizens stranded in Iran represents a “great challenge for the government of Bahrain, and that it should not abandon its full responsibilities towards this issue, where its responsibility is retreating them quickly, in accordance with a clear timetable, and while providing them with all the medical needs until they are safely transported home”.