Geneva, September 3, 2015

The situation of prisoners of conscience in the Rezin prison is still deteriorating, which worries many families. The authorities in Rezin prison continue their ill-treatments with the prisoners and in particular the “UAE 94” group. They inflict severe living conditions and deprive them of their most basic rights as detainees. Therefore, diseases rapidly propagate among the prisoners because of the malnutrition practiced by the prison administration.

We’ve been informed at the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) that detainees are subjected to much ill-treatment, including:
1.    The quantity of food is highly reduced
2.    The sport activities are forbidden
3.    Safe water is replaced by some salt water, which is undrinkable
4.    Lack of medical care

Unfortunately, Ill-treatments of these detainees led to the continuous deterioration of their health, specifically the “UAE 94” group who are now subjected to the effects of these inhuman measures. The prison administration voluntary takes all its time to provide any medical care to them; it only denies them a medical help.

Because we’re afraid of the avoidable consequences of this kind of treatment, we call for an urgent appeal in order to change the deteriorated situation of the prisoner of conscience in UAE. Mostly, the authorities are accused to exercise a policy that can lead these prisoners of conscience to slow death in this manner.

The ICJHR condemns these practices. By this behaviour the UAE authorities violate many international standards about treatment of prisoners and detainees including:
1-     The Body of principles for the protection of all persons under any form of detention or imprisonment, adopted by the UN General Assembly 43/173 on December 9, 1988, which states that all persons under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be treated in a humane manner and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person
2-     The Basic principles for the treatment of prisoners adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 45/111 of 14 December 1990, which also states that all prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.

Effectively, all prisoners shall retain the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the universal declaration of human rights, and, including, the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners, adopted by the First UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, which focuses on many issues concerning:
1.    Food that shall be provided by the administration at the usual hours with food of nutritional value adequate for health and strength, of wholesome quality, well prepared and served. Also, drinking water shall be available to prisoners whenever they need it
2.    Prisoners shall have at least one hour of suitable exercise in the open air daily if the weather permits
3.    Prisoners who shall have access to the health services available in the country

The ICJHR also recalls all its previous press releases about torture and ill-treatment in the Rezin prison, and in which it has underlined the special treatment of the “UAE 94” Group. The systematic use of solitary confinement as a punishment whose abolition or the restriction of its use, should be undertaken and encouraged. Obviously, the same methods are still continuously used in Rezin Prison.

The ICJHR asks the UAE government to:
1-    Immediately and unconditionally release of all prisoners of conscience and activists  including human rights defenders
2-    Stop torture and ill-treatment inside prisoners of conscience, specifically in Rezin Prison
3-    Fulfill its international obligations in this regard by complying with the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CAT) and its Constitution which forbids torture
4-    Respect for the basic rights of prisoners
5-    Ratify the International covenant on civil and political rights as well as the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights

We also urge the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to intervene and question the UAE authorities about the conditions of detention in Rezin prison.

For more information, contact us via email: icjhr.geneva@gmail.com

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