UAE prison authorities continue to mistreat female detainees
Female prisoners in the UAE’s notorious Al-Watbha prison continue to be subject to ill-treatment at the hands of prison authorities who have become increasingly ruthless since the death in custody of Alia Abdel Nour in May this year.
Testimonies from female prisoners have detailed appalling conditions in which they are deprived of health care and clean drinking water, despite having serious medical conditions and requiring urgent medical assistance. Reports have also shown that inmates regularly have their cells searched, private items confiscated, and are randomly denied family visits.
Not only are female prisoners kept in appalling living conditions, they are also routinely subjugated to humiliation, harassment and torture. Detainee Mariam Al Baloushi has stated that she has been threatened, kept in solitary confinement and endured the notorious aggressive treatment from prison wardens who have physically and verbally abused her.
Another detainee, Amina Al Abdouli began a three-week hunger strike after enduring psychological torture and rape threats from prison authorities in addition to being denied visitation rights to see her children.
Due to the clamp-down on free speech within the Emirati state, it has been difficult for reporters to document the cases of other female detainees who have been subject to the same harassment as Abdel Nour, Al Baloushi and Al Abdouli. Nevertheless, it is evident from these cases that the UAE have failed to uphold international and domestic laws regarding human rights, laws on torture and treatment of prisoners. In addition, the UAE’s violation of an individuals’ right to dignity is evident of their intentions and practices towards political prisoners.
ICFUAE call on the UAE to immediately release all women who have been detained for purely exercising their right to freedom of speech, as well as to end the use of psychological and verbal torture and to grant all detainees the rights guaranteed under the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
This is yet another example of the Emirati regime’s appalling treatment of female prisoners of conscience in the UAE. International pressure must be exerted on the authorities to adhere to the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which affords adequate living conditions and medical care as basic rights. To ensure compliance UAE authorities must immediately allow UN bodies access to al-Watbha prison to inspect conditions.
- For more information or comment, please contact the ICFUAE team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07979 6666 98.