Indian prisoner in plea to end Bahrain jail ordeal
Manama, April 10, 2014
A prisoner has issued a direct appeal to Indian Ambassador to Bahrain Dr Mohan Kumar for someone to visit him and other inmates who are allegedly languishing indefinitely in jail.
The correspondence, which was copied to the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication, claims some people are still behind bars despite serving a prison sentence.
It says around 20 expats are being housed at the Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs' (NPRA) temporary detention centre in Sitra, said a report in the GDN.
The author of the letter, who also called the GDN yesterday, said he had been waiting more than a year to return home after completing a prison sentence for a bounced cheque.
However, he has an outstanding debt of BD50,000 ($131,926), which he is unable to pay off.
"We request authorities to let (the) Public Prosecution see and visit us here in (the) deportation (centre) for the purpose of knowing our status as being detained for uncertain and indefinite period," states the letter.
He told the GDN by phone that inmates were still in custody after completing prison terms because they still owed money, but had no idea if or when they would be released.
"There are many inmates who have completed their sentences but continue to be detained," he said on condition of anonymity.
"We demand the judicial authorities to issue a certificate of detention stating the exact period we are supposed to be jailed.
"How can we repay the outstanding debt if we are kept inside?"
Earlier this year inmates from Pakistan, India, Egypt, Bangladesh, Morocco and the Philippines signed a petition demanding authorities to fast-track their cases.
Most of them were convicted of fraud, forgery and failing to pay debts, but are still stranded behind bars due to debt-related travel bans.
Indian Embassy officials said last month they were dealing with at least five cases related to travel bans.
An NPRA spokesman earlier said only a few people of different nationalities were in the detention centre awaiting clearance from the courts to leave.
However, he did not say how long they could be held. - TradeArabia News Service