Rida Al-Ghasra’s Escapes: Fleeing from Hell Isn’t Impossible

2017-02-15 - 12:36 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The waves of the sea neighboring the isolated Jaw Central Prison continue to rise, splash on the prison walls and then return to calmness in a never ending cycle. Similar to the waves are the inhabitants of this prison compound. While the New Year's eve was being celebrated there, ten young men succeeded in escaping from the abyss and climb over the great Jaw prison wall.

It is the same prison where a phone camera recorded the leaked footage showing martyr Abbas Al-Samie announcing his innocence to the family of the slain Emirati officer Tariq Al-Shehi, before he passed away, very well aware of what such a declaration would cost him.

It is the same place, where Jihad leaked the papers of his "Jaw" novel, to be printed and then published. This novel takes the reader to those particular moments that prisoners experience and what happens inside these walls. When you finish reading the novel, you will feel immersed in the details and attached to it.

It is that jail where the strength and resilience of the defected sergeant Mohammed Ramadan were manifested.  Neither the notorious "Criminal Investigations Department" nor the "Public prosecution" were able to extract his confessions, despite being exposed to torture as he later announced: "I was subjected to brutal torture that cannot be borne by beasts, so how could I endure it as a human being."

The cost of tweet is very pricey in Bahrain. If a tweet denouncing the war on Yemen costs 5 years of imprisonment, what would be the cost of protesting, confrontation or fleeing? The repeated breakouts of Rida Al-Ghasra costed him more than a century behind bars that were to be extended if he escaped one more time. Despite all of the risks, Al-Ghasra decided to flee along with his 9 companions. They challenged the state's brutality and overcame their sufferings: "What if we succeed?!," they thought.

The rebellious Al-Ghasra is "so dangerous". His third escape led to transferring the Director of Reform and Rehabilitation Department to the presidency of the General Security. As a result, one of the officers was assigned to follow up the tasks of the department that become under the power of the Ministry of Interior. After his fourth and final escape, a number of officials and members affiliated to the Reform and Rehabilitation Department were summoned for investigation, because there was suspicion of collusion and negligence on the guards' part and lack of supervision.

New companions used to join Al-Ghasra every time he planned an escape. The dream of freedom grew and the idea of escaping from the hell become very possible in the minds of prisoners. These acts led the authorities to panic. Thus, with Al-Ghasra's last breakout, the authorities ordered the security forces to find the fugitives and catch Rida, dead or alive.

The following table illustrates the four escapes of Rida Al-Ghasra:


Escapes of Rida Al-Ghasra (Born in 1988)


Date

Place

Fugitives

Means

of Escape

Arrests

Charges

& Consequences

First

Escape



Tuesday

May

8, 2012

Dry

Dock

Prison

Rida Al-Ghasra

(24 years old)

He wore a

woman’s

gown

(Abaya)

during a

family visit

and was

able

to escape.

He was

arrested

one year

later in

Bani

Jamra

He was charged

with rioting and

disobedience

of  the law.

His prison term

was extended.

Second

Escape

Sunday,

August

4, 2013

Jaw

Prison

Rida Al-Ghasra

(25 years old)

with Hussein

Al-Banaa

Hussein Al-Banaa

agreed with

people he knew

to provide them

with a car that

would give

them

a ride on the day

when the

prisoners’

match is held

and while

the  policemen

are busy.

Al-Ghasra broke

one of the

locks to use

it to close

the prison’s

gate,

so the guards

fail to chase

them. They

asked the g

uard to

go to the barber

and when

they arrived to

the counter near

the prison’s

guard,

Al-Ghasra pulled

the

policeman to the

ground.

Meanwhile, the

Other prisoner

climbed the

fence

and managed to

escape.

Al-Ghasra; however,

was caught

while

attempting

to climb

the fence.

He

succeeded

in

smuggling

his

friend

but he

was caught

while

trying

to climb

the fence.

He was

sentenced to

10 years

in prison

over his

failed escape

attempt.

He was charged

with carrying

weapons,

attacking and

attempting

to murder

policemen,

and detonating

a number of

explosives.

He was

sentenced

to 3

years in prison

over the Bani

Jamra case.

The total number

of sentences

against him

reached

45 years.

Third

Escape

Monday,

April 21,

2014

(Before

3AM)

Jaw

Prison

Rida

Al-Ghasra

(26 years old)

with Hussein

Al-Banaa

A foreigner

was

put in

Al-Ghasra’s

prison cell.

He showed

Rida the

prison’s map

and asked

Rida to show

him

the way

to escape.

Rida pointed

at the

opening

of the central air

conditioning

vent.

The Foreigner

did

not believe

him.

Thus, Rida

showed him

how

he entered

the air

conditioning

vent and

told the

foreigner

that this

was

the way he

broke out

from

the

prison. It is

said

that they

fled

by sea after

escaping

from the

prison

and the

incident

was

discovered

at

6 AM.

He was

arrested

two

days later

at

Wednesday

dawn

(April 23,

2014)

while

hiding in

a house

in Saar

with a

roup

of

“wanted

suspects”

An investigation

committee was

established

to look into

the security

and legal

measures.

- The Director of

Reform and

Rehabilitation

Department

was transferred to

the presidency

of the General

Security.

One of the

officers

was assigned to

follow the

tasks of the

department

that become

under the

authority

of the

Ministry of

Interior.

-A number of

malicious

cases was

fabricated

against him.

He was

sentenced

to more than

104 years

in prison

and his

citizenship

was revoked.

Fourth

Escape

Sunday,

January 1,

2017

(5:30 AM)

Jaw

Prison

Rida Al-Ghasra

(24 years old)

with Hussein

Al-Banaa and

8 others

The

Ministry of

Interior

claimed

that a

number

of

prisoners fled

wearing

“policemen

uniform”.

According to

the MoI’s

narrative,

policeman

Abdulsalam

Seif

Ahmad

died

While

confronting

to the

attack.

He

was killed

on

Thursday

(February

9,

2017)

while

attempting

to

flee the

country

by sea.

He was

shot 3

times

in the

head

and

was

martyred

immediately.

-A number of

officials

and members affiliated

to the

Reform and

Rehabilitation

Directorate

were

summoned for

interrogation

over suspicion

of collusion

and negligence

on the

guards’ part

and lack of

supervision.

-Two others were

martyred,

two twin

brothers were

injured as well

as 5

other fugitives.  





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