Geneva, on May 15, 2019
On Saturday, May 4, 2019, shortly after Alya Abdulnoor passed away, the prison administration at Al-Wathba searched the cell of Maryam Al-Balloushiand Amina Al-Abdouli. Six police officers entered the cell, searched the entire room, stepped on the Quran and confiscated the religious books they had in their possession.
The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights has learned that the health of both Maryam Al-Balloushiand Amina Al-Abdouli has significantly deteriorated as a result of their harsh detention conditions and lack of health care.
Maryam Al-Balloushihas been suffering from liver cirrhosis and kidney stones for months without receiving appropriate medical care. In fact, the prison administration has refused to provide her with any treatment, despite her multiple requests and the severe pain she suffers. Al-Wathba administration has refused to transfer her to the medical clinic and provide her with adequate medication. Indeed, the last time she was taken to the clinic was in fact on December 25, 2018.
Amina Al-Abdouli also suffers from anemiaand shows symptoms of liver disease (high bilirubin levels). She was neglected by the prison authorities who also refused to take her to the prison’s medical clinic and give her proper medical treatment.
The UAE authorities are thus violating their obligation to provide specialised treatment and appropriate medication to detainees pursuant to Article 3 of Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions and to the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
The ICJHR remains highly concerned about the medical negligence which is causing the deterioration of the health condition of Maryam Al-Balloushiand Amina Al-Abdouli. The ICJHR fears that the two women suffer the same fate as Alya Abdulnoor, who died from medical negligence by the prison administration and the Public Prosecution.
Moreover, both of them have been subjected to harassment and ill-treatment by other inmates without any reaction by the prison administration despite the complaints of the victims.
It has been a year since the ICJHR published recordings of Maryam Al-Balloushiand Amina Al-Abdouli, leaked in May 2018 from Al-Wathba, in which they described the torture and ill-treatment they had been subjected to and their daily suffering at Al-Wathba. The Centre also issued a voice recording of Alya Abdulnoor testifying about her exposure to ill-treatment and the absence of medical treatment for the tumour that had spread throughout her body. Despite her multiple complaints, Alya died without receiving proper treatment. Yet, the authorities are still refusing to provide Maryam and Amina with adequate medical attention and failed to investigate and stop the reported violations.
The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights, therefore, calls upon the UAE authorities to:
1. Provide proper medical attention to Amina Al-Abdouli, Maryam Al-Balloushiand all other sick inmates.
2. Immediately release Maryam Al-Balloushi, Amina Al-Abdouli and all other detainees sentenced following unfair trials.
3. Open a prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment of Maryam Al-Balloushiand Amina Al-Abdouli and hold accountable those found responsible for these violations, and grant the detainees their right to redress, reparation and rehabilitation.
4. Allow the UN experts – especially the Special Rapporteur on the Right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – to visit the UAE and Al-Wathba prison and meet with Maryam Al-Balloushiand Amina Al-Abdouli in order to investigate the alleged violations.