Geneva, 17 September 2015
Repressive practices of Rezin prison authorities against prisoners of conscience and political prisoners have reached its climax lately especially against “UAE94” group. The ICJHR has received information that ill-treatment has worsened as the prison authorities tightened the prison’s rules by:
1. Putting prisoners in solitary confinement for three days and confiscating their belongings.
2. Ripping couches and searching them.
3. Putting tooth paste in showers as they searched for the pen that prisoners used to write a letter to the president of UAE.
4. Depriving all prisoners from bedclothes, sheets and towels and made them use only one towel per week.
5. Decreasing the number of clothing, as they become only four underwear and two clothes that are washed less often so their clothes became too rotten to be wore.
6. Making them pay for the telephone call they made to their families and cut the line for trivial reasons and sometimes preventing them to make calls.
7. Serving unhealthy meals that lack the minimum health and quality standards.
8. Preventing all means of entertainment and education.
Besides, prison’s authorities made a list of punishments for the least breach including tidying the room for example, despite the fact that all prisoners are keen to tidy up and organize the rooms. Yet, these are mere pretexts to punish prisoners and harass them psychologically.
These practices do not comply with the Standard Minimum rules for the Treatment of Prisoners that give the prisoner the right to a minimum standard of personal hygiene, in addition to the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment that guarantee for the prisoner the right to enjoy information, educational and entertainment materials.
We have also been informed that authorities of Rezin prison escalated their attack against prisoners from September as one of the prison’s officers, named Tarek Hamad Al-Mekbali, along with a group of heavily armed Nepali guards, cuffed the hands and feet of prisoners and whomever says a word or protests against these barbarian practices. Guards have also entered ward 10 late at night, while prisoners were sleeping, then put them outside their cells at the ward’s yard in inhumane way, causing a major disorder and disruption in the ward.
Prison’s authorities have also infringed a punishment upon Ahmed Al-Tabour, a human right activist, a member and former director of Al-Islah association. They put him in solitary confinement for three days because he had a pen. This practice does not comply with principle 7 of the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners which authorizes the minimum use of solitary confinement inside prisons. As a reminder, Al-Tabour was arrested on May 17, 2012 because he signed a reformist petition and was sentenced to 10 years in prison during “UAE 94” trial. .
The International Center for Justice and Human Rights condemns these degrading and inhumane practices that breach international treaties and conventions relevant to the treatment of prisoners as well as political prisoners and ask the UAE authorities to:
1. Respect the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners and work in compliance with the Standard Minimum rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
2. Respect Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
3. Refrain from applying a policy of punishment and humiliation on political prisoners and prisoners of conscience who have only claimed political reforms inside the UAE.
4. Fulfill its international obligations and respect the Convention against Torture.
5. Hold accountable guards and those responsible of systematic torture and abuses infringed upon prisoners.
The ICJHR urgently calls the special rapporteur on torture and the Committee against torture to intervene and make the Emirati authorities respect their obligation especially respecting the rights of prisoners and combatting torture and other forms of humiliating behavior.
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