Al-Razeen Prisoners Subjected to Extreme Cold
Al-Razeen prison, nicknamed the “Guantanamo of the UAE”, is notorious for its dire detention conditions and its ill-treatment of inmates, many of whom are prisoners of conscience. During the winter months, prison conditions are particularly harsh with prisoners being denied protection from the freezing temperatures. This has reportedly resulted in an increasing number of detainees falling victim to the common cold, exacerbating existing health conditions. Detainees are also unable to gain access to basic health care.
Al-Razeen prison is located in the middle of the Abu Dhabi desert, where the weather can reach extreme temperatures and winter nights are excruciatingly cold. Prison authorities have consistently deprived detainees of essentials, such as warm winter clothing and blankets or effective sources of heating during the winter. This treatment can be considered a form of torture. Prisoners are also prohibited from receiving such items brought by their families.
Mohammed al-Roken, a leading Emirati human rights lawyer, is a prisoner of conscience currently serving a 10-year sentence at al-Razeen prison purely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and defending the human rights of others. Since being detained, al-Roken has been subject to severe ill-treatment and abuse, including prolonged solitary confinement and music torture.
ICFUAE urges the UAE authorities to immediately put an end to such methods and ensure that detention conditions at al-Razeen meet the requirements of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.