Prisoner torture, because being in prison wasnt bad enough.

There are certain rights every human should be guaranteed. Of particular interest here, is the right of protection against torture. Prisoner or not, I believe the right to be protected from being needlessly and cruelly tortured is one that should be universally honored. Unfortunately, its been recently reported that the UAE is doing a horrible job of addressing ongoing prison torture problems. A major issue such as this one requires immediate attention and must not be left until the problem is eradicated.
There have been a number of recent handwritten letters by inmates in the region describing their horrible experiences. These letters mention beatings, electric shocks, and other inhumane forms of torture. They also discuss the threats made by guards, including injections of HIV and sexual abuse if a prisoner tries to speak out or complain. A number of Egyptian detainees awaiting trial have begun a hunger strike in response to the torture and mistreatment they suffer at the hands of prison security guards. When a group of people are so desperate as to be pushed to go on a hunger strike when they are already imprisoned, then their issues must be addressed.
The United Nation Convention against Torture, of which the UAE has been a member of since July 19, 2012, requires its members to put into effect measures that will prevent torture within their state, and also forbids states to transport people to any country where there is reason to believe they will be tortured. The UAE is clearly in violation of the convention and if nothing is done to reprimand them these types of international conventions will take another hit as to their credibility. Other countries will see that there is no price to pay for violating the rules of the convention, so what will stop them from doing so themselves? This is why it is crucial to either remove the UAE from the CAT, pressure them to fix the problem, or punish them in some kind of way. If actions are not taken the point of joining these international groups will be all but lost.


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  1. I agree that the UAE must enforce the rules they set on paper, and ensure that prisoners are not tortured within their state, and that they are similarly not transported to other countries where they will be tortured. Every country should universally agree to stop treating prisoners inhumanely. The letters detailing sexual abuse, beatings and electric shocks are unacceptable. Prisoners are already subject to spending day in and day out in cells closed off from the world because of the criminal acts they have committed. Two wrongs do not make a right; therefore, these prisoners need not be subjected to torture during their confinement. Although it is known that prisoner’s rights are limited and their sense of liberty is in many cases rightfully diminished in jail, no one should be subjected to torture. The guards threatening prisoners with injections of HIV is repulsive, and the UAE must step in and stop this behavior before it gets anymore out of hand.

  2. This concept is commonly referred to as “punishment within punishment.” I completely agree that prisoners should not be tortured in any way shape or form. It is simply not part of their punishment. Their punishment is having their freedom taken away, not beatings, rape, hunger etc. The reason for this ongoing problem is the lack of awareness of the “outside” world in each country. People hear about these prison horror stories, and it just simply doesn’t effect them, because they are not in prison. Some people believe what happens in prison is a prisoner’s fault. “Maybe if they didn’t sell drugs, this wouldn’t have happened to them.” Nelson Mandela stated, “It is said that no-one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” At this point, I don’t think any country should be judged in the most positive light until they attempt to fix this problem.

  3. A person is placed in prison in order to pay back society for the crime or crimes they have committed. Usually it is seen as a specific deterrent, in order to punish the person for what they have done and a general deterrent, to offer an example to the world of what happens when a person commits such an offense. Entering into jail already puts a large amount of fear into the person, not knowing what will happen to them once placed inside. But to have to worry about being tortured, beaten and maybe even inflicted with incurable diseases is beyond me. Although people who are in jail and there for reasons and should recompense the community for their actions, no one deserves to be treated that way, even if you are a lawbreaker. Something must be done by the UAE to protect whatever little rights these prisoners have left. They are already suffering for their crimes, relief should be provided.

  4. I am just disgusted by the treatment that these prisoners are receiving. Electric shocks, beatings, even injections with HIV, these are egregious forms of torture and should be stopped. I agree with Amanda’s comment above, prisoners are already being punished by being incarcerated and having their freedom restricted. To add torture in addition to their restriction on freedom is nonsense and just plain inhumane. The UAE needs to be sanctioned because they are aware of the horrible actions occurring due to the hunger strikes and yet they have done nothing to address the problem. I believe that the UN should step in as soon as possible to prevent more torture from occurring.

  5. This is absolutely appalling behavior by the guards towards the inmates at these prisons. The UAE needs to be reprimanded in some way. They are aware of these atrocious actions and have done absolutely nothing about it. Prisoners are already being punished for their crimes by being incarcerated. These inmates are being punished by serving a certain amount of time in prison. Their punishment includes losing their freedom and to a certain degree their privacy. Their sentences, however, do not include being beaten, shocked electrically, or getting threats of HIV injections and sexual abuse. The guards are in these prisons to sustain order and to protect the inmates from each other. They are not there to add to the violence and chaos. Life in prison is difficult for these inmates as it is without the guards adding to the hardship. Something must be done about this problem. For these inmates to go on a hunger strike says a lot about this situation.

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