The United States said Thursday it has shared concern with key partner Bahrain over prison conditions after inmates announced a hunger strike over their treatment.
Prisoners at the Jau prison, which holds dissidents detained when authorities crushed Shiite-led protests in 2011, have been subjected to 23-hour cell confinement and restrictions on prayer, according to the banned opposition and a rights group.
“We are aware of and concerned on the reports of this hunger strike,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.
He said Secretary of State Antony Blinken “expressed concern about some of these reports” during a July 20 meeting with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdellatif al-Zayani.
“We urge Bahrain to continue to make progress on criminal justice reforms and ensure human rights standards are upheld,” Patel said.