Manama, Apr. 8 (BNA): The Independent Ombudsman Office has confirmed that it has commenced the investigation, in accordance with its legal and functional mechanism, regarding the death of the inmate (Mr. Abbas Hassan Ali) 49 years old, an inmate at the Reform and Rehabilitation Center in Jau, who passed away on Tuesday, April 6.
The Independent Ombudsman Office expresses its sincere condolences and to the family and relatives of the deceased and prays that the Almighty God inspires them with patience and solace.
The Independent Ombudsman Office believes that it is the right of the deceased’s family and relatives to know the truth that led to his unfortunate death, as well as the right of the public to see the outcome of the investigations that have been carried out on this matter and the circumstances in full transparency. Furthermore, the Independent Ombudsman Office wished to ward off the misperception raised by some people and organizations on websites and social media that, unfortunately, lacked the simplest rules of objectivity and credibility, and did not take into account the grief and moral pain of the deceased’s family and loved ones, but rather deliberately increased this sadness and pain by launching rumors and assumptions that are not based on validity. Thus, the Independent Ombudsman Office clarifies to the public the facts based on its professional work mechanism and the independent procedures, such as gathering information and observing formal documents, examining CCTV recordings, interviewing witnesses and officials and recording their statements, in addition to examining any other inquires or procedures directed to the administration.
In accordance with the aforementioned, the Independent Ombudsman Office would like to clarify the following:
1. The deceased inmate had previously dealt with the Independent Ombudsman Office 11 times, through assistance requests which he submitted personally or by his family on his behalf. The last of these requests on June 28, 2020, regarding phone calls, preceded by another request on March 11, 2020, regarding access to dental health care. The deceased inmate nor his family had not submitted any complaint related to heart disease or other chronic diseases requiring long-term treatment except for one request in 2015 mentioning that he had irregularities in his colon and asked to provide him with a special meal, his request was accepted and settled in a timely manner.
2. Health care records in the Reform and Rehabilitation Center’s clinic showed the deceased inmate received the usual health care in the center’s clinic like other inmates, he did not have any chronic diseases nor other serious illnesses, his last referral in the center’s clinic was on September 20, 2020 for his complaint of ear pain, which he received the necessary treatment, hours before his death ,the inmate hadn’t suffer from any health issues and did not seek for any medical help.
3. The Independent Ombudsman Office privately interviewed and took the statements of the deceased inmate’s cellmates who were present with the deceased inmate in the same room, as they stated that he had dinner in the evening of April 5, 2021, then he went to sleep. Within minutes (after midnight – the beginning of the day April 6, 2021) he woke up and told them that he felt pain in his chest and a burning sensation in the esophagus. At this time, he drank a pack of milk and leaned against the wall for a while, then went to the bathroom. After a minute or two (according to the inmates’ statement about the timings, which are approximate times that were later compared to the recordings of the surveillance cameras), he left the restroom and then fell directly on the ground, and one of the inmates in the room tried to conduct first aid to rescue him , and others called the on-duty policeman at the Center.
4. The surveillance cameras clarified that the inmate fell into the room at about 12:05 am in the morning, and the attendance of the on-duty policeman took place approximately one minute later at 12:06 am in the morning. After taking the necessary procedures, a paramedic came in the Center’s vehicle at 12:18 am and as conducted preliminary check-ups, and immediately requested an ambulance. At 12:22 am, the ambulance reached the place from the external center’s clinic and the paramedics transferred him to the car and immediately to the center’s clinic. The clinic’s on-duty doctor examined the inmate at around 12:32 am where he was unconscious but remained alive. The doctor on call conducted first aid procedures on the inmate and decided to transfer him to Salmaniya Medical Complex at 12:39am later on the ambulance, along with the inmate, left the Center at 12:44am.
5. The death notification of Salmaniya Medical Center confirmed that the inmate’s death was around 1 am, and declared the cause of death due to a heart attack.
From the foregoing, the following can be confirmed:
First: According to the CCTV recording of the cell, the electronic medical records at the Center’s clinic, the timeline of dealing with the inmate’s case was continous and quick. There was an organized response to the inmate’s emergency situation. It took the Center and the relevant stakeholders around 20 minutes from the moment the inmate fell on the ground to the moment he was transferred to the outpatient clinic. During those 20 minutes, there were many procedures implemented including calling the policeman at the scene of the accident, informing the duty officer, to the ambulance asking for an ambulance to attend the place, transferring the inmate by the ambulance to the Center’s clinic. Furthermore, it took a period not exceeding 40 minutes to transfer the patient to the Salmaniya Medical Complex from the moment the deceased inmate fell in the room. This presents a very quick and efficient use of time without any delays or any form of negligence.
Second: Both the Reform and Rehabilitation Center employees and the medical staff involved dealt with the deceased inmate’s unfortunate situation professionally. The response time for the emergency case of the aforementioned inmate is less time compared to any other situation that might happen to any one out of the Reform and Rehabilitation Center in the same distance, from calling the ambulance until its arrival, then transferring him to Salmaniya Medical Center.
In conclusion, the Independent Ombudsman Office expresses its surprise at the false information campaign that accompanied the death of the aforementioned inmate which contained allegations far from the reality. The Independent Ombudsman Office affirms that it deals with cases of death that occur inside the Reform and Rehabilitation Center, Dry Dock Center and other care and deportation centers with all transparency. In addition, the Independent Ombudsman Offices published its investigations with regards to the cases of death continuously in its periodic reports starting from 2013 up till its recent report for the year 2019-2020. The Independent Ombudsman Office invites the public to view these reports and be aware of the mechanisms that the Office takes to investigate such cases and the different reasons associated with them, among these cases several similar death cases to the mentioned above case where the death caused by heart attack or an apoplexy.