x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Dubai prisoners threaten hunger strike

A group of 120 inmates is demanding the release of those who have served their terms but remain incarcerated.

DUBAI // About 120 prisoners in Dubai Police Central Prison began a protest yesterday, calling for the release of inmates who have either served their sentences or have been acquitted by court but remain in custody.

The group also complained of ill treatment by prison personnel, saying some inmates had been denied medical treatment outside prison and are referred instead to the prison’s in-house medical centre.

The group has threatened to go on hunger strike if their demands are not met.

Major General Khamis al Mazeina, deputy head of Dubai Police, yesterday dismissed the allegations of ill treatment.

He said allegations of not providing medical services were completely baseless. “Having medical treatment is a human right which we cannot ignore. Our medical service is well equipped and we do refer any person who needs treatment we cannot provide to outside hospitals,” said Maj Gen al Mazeina.

He added that some prisoners, especially drug addicts, want to be treated in outside hospitals because the opportunity to obtain drugs is higher.

Regarding complaints concerning the release of prisoners who have served their sentence, Maj Gen al Mazeina said the matter was in the hands of the public prosecution and court, the two bodies responsible for ordering the release of prisoners.

He said they would refer these complaints to the concerned authorities.

“We can guarantee that there is no prisoner who is held in prison after his sentence is completed unless there is a decision, with a legal ground, from the concerned bodies in that regard,” he said.