The United Nations condemned the UAE violations against prisoners of conscience in its prisons, and called on Abu Dhabi to investigate detention conditions that amount to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
“The UAE has a responsibility to protect the rights of individuals deprived of their liberty by ensuring that the conditions of detention respect their dignity and mental integrity,” said international experts Dainius Burras, Special Rapporteur on the right to health, and Nils Miller, Special Rapporteur on torture.
The experts’ call came after news that Emirati citizen Maryam Suleiman Al-Balushi attempted suicide due to the humiliating conditions in Al-Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi.
The two international experts, in a letter addressed to the UAE authorities accused of widespread violations against the detainees, expressed their deep concern regarding the alleged “torture and ill-treatment of Ms. Al-Balushi, Ms. Amina Ahmed Saeed Al-Abdouli, and Ms. Alia Abdul Nour, which led to the deterioration of their health due to conditions of detention and lack of treatment Appropriate medical.”
The UN rapporteurs disclosed that Al-Balushi had been subjected to “reprisals after the official correspondence that was sent to the UAE authorities, to request information about the current physical and mental health status of the three women, and to inquire about the reason for not releasing her for health reasons, based on her critical medical condition.”
In their message, they added: “Al-Balooshi is exposed to inhumane conditions, including the presence of surveillance cameras in her bathroom and her detention in solitary confinement on multiple occasions for long periods, the last of which was since mid-February.”
The experts pointed out that the United Nations Committee against Torture and the United Nations Human Rights Committee had concluded that conditions of detention could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.
The two UN decisions warned that “prolonged incommunicado detention can facilitate the commission of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and may in itself constitute a form of this treatment”.
They said: “The UAE authorities have failed to take the necessary guarantees regarding the life, security and dignity of persons deprived of their liberty, despite the Baluchi protests through a hunger strike due to the condition of her arrest,” noting that her recent attempt to commit suicide is evidence of her pain and suffering.
The two rapporteurs called on the UAE government to “conduct a prompt and impartial investigation promptly in response to the alleged torture and ill-treatment of the three women, Amina Ahmed Saeed Al-Abdouli, Maryam Suleiman Al-Balushi and Alia Abdul-Noor.”
The human rights organization “We are Registering” said, on March 12, that the deterioration of the psychological state of Maryam Al-Balushi detained in Emirates prisons led her to cut her arteries, after the Public Prosecution threatened her with fabricating a new case because of her refusal to register confessions to broadcast it on official channels.
It is reported that Al-Balushi has been subjected to solitary confinement in Al-Wathba prison since mid-February. She was arrested in 2015 on charges of financing a terrorist organization and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, but she says all she did was send money to a disaster-stricken family in Syria.