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Rights group: ‘Violations against women in UAE prisons’

Military prison in Sharjah, UAE [Step/Flickr]
Military prison in Sharjah, UAE [Step/Flickr]

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights condemned “the violations committed against women in the UAE in general and in detention centres in particular”.

In a report published on its website entitled “Women Tortured in UAE Prisons,” the Centre recorded systematic violations against female detainees in UAE prisons.

The report indicated that “the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights along with other organisations have repeatedly highlighted the case of Alia Abdel Nour, among other victims of torture and ill-treatment in custody, to demand her immediate release for medical reasons.”

The report also stated that “due to the spread of the disease in Alia’s body, reaching a detrimental stage, her family calls for the release of their daughter so that she can spend her last days with her loved ones.

According to the same report, despite numerous requests made by Abdel Nour’s family, the Emirati authorities have refused to take measures to protect the victim, who is still in custody at the Tawam Hospital, confined to her bed and in a very bad condition.”

Read: Saudi court approves detained tycoon Sanea’s bankruptcy filing

The report explained that “the family’s request to free their daughter was supported by UN experts who joined the family in their demand to release Alia Abdel Nour and conduct an impartial investigation into allegations of torture, ill-treatment, and other serious violations of their daughter’s civil rights in accordance with the UN Convention against Torture and other relevant international standards.”

The Centre leaked secret recordings in May 2018, which proved that Amina Al-Abdouli, Alia Abdel Nour, and Mariam Al-Baloushi had been subjected to enforced disappearance after being arrested during raids on their houses executed by the State Security Service. Thus, the three detainees have been taken to a secret detention centre where they were held for months under torture and permanent humiliation, without having access to any of their basic rights. ”

According to the report, the detainees stated that “they were tortured and forced to sign written confessions without having access to their content.”

The recordings confirmed the dreadful conditions and overcrowding inside the rooms at Al-Wathba Prison. However, despite these serious allegations, the Emirati authorities have not taken any action to investigate the violations.”

Tina Jauhiainen, a Finnish ex-detainee, stated that she was arrested in March 2018 by the UAE authorities along with Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who fled the country to escape the abuses she had been subjected to for years, such as beatings, torture, and intimidation.

Jauhiainen was beaten, received death threats and forced to sign confessions. Two weeks later, she was released after being warned that she would not be safe if she dared to speak about the circumstances of her detention, “even in Finland”, according to the Centre.

READ: The UAE’s torture in the shadows 

After the report, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights expressed concerns about the status of women in the UAE and hoped that the authorities would take initiatives to improve the situation.

Princess Latifa, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, fled the UAE more than a year ago and was forcibly deported when her boat arrived off the coast of India, using international accomplices. The princess accused her family of mistreating, imprisoning, and torturing her.

The New York Times reported that women in the UAE, like other parts of the Arab world, face restrictions that do not exist in the West, such as their inability to marry without a male guardian’s permission. However, women in the UAE still enjoy some rights compared to their counterparts in Saudi Arabia.

The UAE has been facing several accusations, both locally and internationally, regarding its poor human rights record, hiding political and human rights activists as well as bloggers inside detention centres, and torturing others as well as committing all kinds of abuse against them.

International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsUAEUN
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