Maryam Al Balushi attempts suicide in al-Wathba prison
22-year old Emirati prisoner of conscience, Maryam Al Balushi has attempted suicide in Al-Wathba prison by cutting a vein in her hand, a source reveals.
The source also reports that Ms. Al-Balushi has been held in solitary confinement since 15 February 2020.
Last year, in a letter from prison, Ms Al-Balushi complained of torture, degrading conditions of detention, and endemic racism in Abu Dhabi’s prison system. The prisoner of conscience said that since her detention she has been threatened with rape and subjected to torture, which has included verbal and physical abuse.
“As a result of the torture, my left eye became cross-eyed, and I have constant back pain as a result of the brutal torture I was subjected to by female Nepalese soldiers in the State Security Prison”
In her letter, Maryam went on to speak about the appalling conditions that inmates are forced to endure in UAE’s al-Wathba prison, where detainees are kept in solitary confinement, denied clean drinking water, and served inadequate food resulting in ill-health.
“We are shocked and upset by these recent developments. If the UAE government is in any way serious about addressing the issue of women’s rights, a good place to start would be to stop the state-sanctioned torture and abuse of female prisoners of conscience pushing them to try to take their own lives. Behind the façade of the UAE’s liberal and tolerant image lies a much more disconcerting reality where practices such as these have become part and parcel of a deeply flawed legal system. It is imperative that the perpetrators are held to account and that these practices of abuse end immediately.”
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