Karranah – According to the mother of detainee Jasem Alayan, her son, who suffers from severe sickle cell anemia, has gone on an open hunger strike since Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, to protest against the Bahraini authorities’ insistence on depriving him of urgent medical treatment and preventing him from seeing a hematologist.
Human rights activist Ebtesam AlSaegh added that according to Jasem’s mother, two weeks ago, Bahrain’s Dry Dock Prison administration deprived Jasem of the medication he takes in order to decrease the frequency and severity of the sickle cell anemia crises he suffers from. Instead, and without notifying Jasem or his family and physician, the prison administration provided Jasem with urinary tract disease medication, as well as gastrointestinal medication, both of which Jasem does not need. Jasem suffers neither from urinary tract disease, nor from any gastrointestinal ailments, and randomly prescribing such medications to him may, in fact, lead to unpredictable complications in his case, especially since what he requires is hemolysis medication that the authorities deprive him of. Jasem’s mother affirms that her son “does not suffer from any other ailment other than sickle cell disease, and providing him with other medications is like condemning him to a slow death sentence.” She also added that her detained son requires a surgical operation, delaying which will lead to further deterioration in his health, given that the frequency of the sickle cell crises he suffers from has increased significantly. Activist AlSaegh held the prison administration legally responsible for maintaining the health and physical well-being of the detainees, and she emphasized that detainees have a right to medical treatment in prison. AlSaegh further called on the authorities to access medical treatment and be treated by hematologist.
It is worth noting that Bahraini security forces had arrested Jasem from a checkpoint in his hometown of Karranah on January 18th, 2016, and even though Jasem is only a 17-year-old minor, Bahrain’s authorities insist on imprisoning him and subjecting him to torture and inhuman treatment. Jasem’s health has significantly deteriorated since his incarceration, and he was hospitalized multiple times after suffering acute sickle cell disease crises as a direct result of being subjected to tortured and deprivation of treatment behind bars. Furthermore, Bahraini authorities have charged Jasem with various fabricated charges, including his alleged involvement in the “Karranah Bombing”. The authorities have implicated over 30 other detainees in the same case.