موقع إخباري يهتم بفضائح و انتهاكات دولة الامارات

UAE’s Conscience Prisoners Face Solitary Confinement over Free Speech

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Human rights advocates point out that UAE officials intentionally isolate prisoners of conscience in solitary confinement facilities, aiming to undermine their humanity and erode their resolve. These detainees, who speak out and advocate for reform, endure the harsh toll exacted for their vocal dissent.

The UAE Detainees’ Advocacy Center said that the greatest tax paid by prisoners of conscience is not only deprivation of freedom, and the worst that a detainee can face inside prison is not limited to physical torture.

The organization clarified that numerous detention facilities, especially in authoritarian regimes, are not solely meant for the apprehension and torture of individuals. Rather, they are intentionally structured to inflict severe psychological damage and lasting trauma, rendering detainees unable to readjust to normal life even upon their release from incarceration.

It might be difficult for some to comprehend the profound impact of the severe psychological trauma inflicted by the arrest on detainees, resulting in excruciating anguish that renders them incapable of even the most basic activities, and tragically, may sometimes culminate in their demise.

One tactic employed by UAE authorities to psychologically break detainees is solitary confinement, wherein individuals are isolated for prolonged periods, sometimes spanning months or even years, to prevent them from communicating with others.

This method violates international law and the United Nations Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and leads to severe psychological consequences.

For example, during the last trial session in the “UAE 84” case, one of the detainees stood up to tell the judge that he had been detained for 250 days in solitary confinement and that his psychological condition had deteriorated to the point that he no longer remembered anything from the Qur’an when he prayed, even though he had memorized the entire Qur’an. .

The center highlighted that to understand more deeply the impact of solitary confinement on the psychology of detainees, we must mention here what was written by Jordanian journalist Tayseer Al-Najjar, who died only two years after his release from Emirati prisons due to the physical and psychological pain caused by detention.

In that article, Al-Najjar described his feelings inside his solitary confinement, saying that he “wished to see the sun, or enter the bathroom without restrictions, or even see any face, and he was constantly screaming for mercy to touch the hearts of his prisoners,” which he described as “stones.”

In his article, Al-Najjar detailed the agony he endured following his release from prison, recounting episodes of intense weeping and convulsions that recurred over time. Eventually, he described how these episodes evolved into a persistent state of silence

He further noted that his heart felt shattered, devoid of blood but filled with pain and haunting memories. Describing the investigator’s actions as akin to stepping on a fragile sheet of glass over his heart, he conveyed that the experience in solitary confinement was tantamount to the destruction of his very humanity—a self that, he asserted, no longer remained.

Al-Najjar’s depiction of “shattering the human self” may arguably be the most precise portrayal of the situation within Emirati prisons. A recent example illustrating this concept is the Syrian human rights advocate Abdul Rahman Al-Nahhas, who has been so profoundly affected by this process that he now relies on fellow inmates for even the most basic tasks, such as relieving himself.

Of course, these are just examples of the effects of psychological destruction carried out by the UAE authorities against detainees using solitary confinement, and there is no doubt that what is hidden is greater.

Arguably, one of the most concerning instances is exemplified by the narrative shared earlier regarding a detainee in the “UAE 84” case. However, this detainee’s situation is not isolated; over 60 individuals are implicated in this case, all of whom have been subjected to solitary confinement for approximately 8 months. The psychological toll on these detainees remains largely unknown.

The Human Rights Center determined that solitary confinement facilities serve not only as spaces for physical incarceration but also as instruments for annihilating the spirit and eroding human dignity.

It stressed that the psychological destruction imposed by this type of prison should be at the top of the list of violations for which states must be held accountable because it causes severe psychological damage that is difficult to heal.