UAE: Amina Al-Abduli and Mariam Al-Balushi go on a hunger strike to protest against their solitary confinement

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

Geneva, March 11th, 2020

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights learned that Amina Al-Abuli and Maryam Al-Balushi started a hunger strike in Al-Wathba Prison two weeks ago, in protest against solitary confinement and their exposure to humiliating and degrading treatment.

       Both detainees were deliberately put in isolated cells by the prison administration without a specific time limit or the right to appeal and defend themselves, pursuant to the Basic Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions and Principle 30 the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

       The authorities started to abuse Amina al Abduli and Maryam al Ballushi especially after their leaked recordings from Al Wathba prison and the numerous appeals of UN rapporteurs and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate their case. Indeed, the two inmates suffer from several diseases as a result of torture and ill-treatment in addition to the deliberate negligence of their health care; the ICJHR fears that their situation may even deteriorate following their entrance into a hunger strike.

For the record, Amina Al-Abduli was arrested by the State Security forces in Fujairah on November 19, 2015 for publishing tweets and Maryam Suleiman Al-Ballushi, was also arrested by the State Security forces for helping a Syrian family. Both women were sentenced to 5 and 7 years imprisonment, under the Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on terrorism crimes. 

On February 26, 2019, UN experts and Special Rapporteurs issued a statement demanding the UAE government to conduct an impartial investigation into the allegations of torture, ill-treatment and health neglect perpetrated against female detainees and the late Alia Abdulnoor who died in custody in al Wathba prison.

The ICJHR holds responsible Emirati officials for any health deterioration of Amina Al-Abduli and Maryam Al-Balushi and urges them to respond to the detainees’ legitimate demands by ending their solitary confinement, treating them in a dignified manner and investigating their rights’ violations.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights additionally calls on the UAE authorities to:

  1. Provide adequate medical care for Amina Al-Abduli and Maryam Al-Balushi following their entrance into a hunger strike pursuant to the principles of the Malta Declaration issued by the World Medical Association in 1991.
  2. Stop putting female prisoners of conscience in solitary confinement and refrain from abusing and humiliating them.

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

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