What is prison like in the United Arab Emirates?

I have been put in Jail 3 times for 3 reasons:

I was taken to jail for honking my vehicle horn at a powerful and influential local. (15 years ago).

I was taken to jail after a woman falsely accused me of ruining her name (Without evidence) and was told if she went ahead, I would be jailed indefinitely without evidence.

I was jailed also for being tattooed as someone complained that I was the Anti-Christ, the evil spirit and the devil.

However, to my luck, I didn’t have any evidence against me and the jails that I was put in - the Policemen were kind and humane. Before anything - let me be the first to say - whomsoever I met in Dubai Police or Sharjah Police - they have been nothing but kind and nice to me. And as you go higher up - the Arab Locals who are educated - are really amazing human beings. They are very kind, very nice and very loving people.

And it is ironical that my mentor for 16 years was the Head of a Section in the Police. I love him, respect him and will forever respect him.

So I can honestly tell you - the Arab Locals I interacted with - they have been amazing human beings with me and my experience has been nothing but positive. You can literally say that I felt I was talking to a Father Figure - someone with deep love, compassion and kindness.

However, just as it takes all kinds of people to make this world - I can say in some cases I have been treated like trash for looking the way I look - but that is normal. There are exceptions to the rule. However, I cannot say the same for the others whom I know. This is what they have shared with me. And I cannot name them as they requested for anonymity out of fear. So while some prisons are like VIP hotel rooms – designed for the rich, famous and powerful, I am pretty sure those are not the stories you want to hear about.

Here are the stories you do not hear about in the news or media.

There are some prisons camps which are kept in absolute secrecy where those who are a threat to National Security are kept. No one who has been there has come out alive. And legend has it - once you are put there - its over. You don’t exist anymore.

You can be jailed for any reason – from having a false complaint registered in your name to the worst – having someone influential and powerful angry with you.

My friends have been jailed in Sharjah for being a man and having ear-rings. While in RAK if you are pregnant out of wedlock - the woman will be jailed until she gives birth and after birth the child is taken away from her and given to a Muslim Orphanage to be raised as a Muslim until some Muslim couple adopts this child. While the mother is deported back to her country (this is common only for Asians as their governments do not support their citizens but never for Western Passport Holders).

There are people who have been kept in prison without trial because they have messed with the wrong or powerful people. One such person apparently was in jail for 35 years without knowing what he did wrong.

Some prisons are absolutely racist. Bangladeshis are treated the worst.
There are gangs in prison and if you are unlucky and get into a wrong prison, you can get raped and you cannot do anything about it.

Depending where you are (Dubai or Sharjah or RAK) you can have anywhere from 7 people in one room to 50 people in one tiny room with you.
In some prisons there is total corruption. Money is being taken by prison guards if you want normal human rights to be given to your relative or friend in prison.

There are temporary detention centers in all public places (Dubai Metro, Airport) where you are kept for time being until you are transferred to the actual prison.
The Airport Detention Center is like a 3-Star Prison.

There is a hierarchy of power – Arabs get better benefits (better cells, cigarettes) and better treatment.

Nationalities that endure the worst treatment Asians, Filipino, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Palestinians etc

Lots of bullying takes place inside prison camps where you can be beaten or disciplined if you fall out of line.
You can buy food in certain prisons. Some of them have canteens. However some prisons are absolutely horrifying where you will lose half your body weight.

The prisons shown on Social Media are the ones where they offer the best facilities to keep in line with the Human Rights.

Hygiene in some prisons is horrifying as in some prisons people stink for not having had bath. Some places there are rats.

Toilet facilities in some prisons – you are not allowed to clean yourself with anything and in some places the toilet is a commode kept open in front of everyone with 50 people in one place.
End of the day, a prison is a prison and I would never recommend you to do anything to land there. And if you do land there, apologize, beg and do whatever you can do to get out. It is not worth being there.

And at the same time keep this in mind - UAE is much more humane than most of the other Middle East countries. There the horror stories jump from ending up with your hands and legs being chopped off to being treated so inhumane that you would wish for death than anything else.

I truly hope you never go to prison.

And in a strange ironical way, I want to thank the UAE for treating me well and not bad even when I was taken to prison. But I have to post this because - I want others to not only be afraid of going to Prison but know - if they assume that breaking the UAE law will give them 5-star treatment - well please wake up. This is not your country and you must respect its rules.

Loy Machedo

Source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-prison...-Arab-Emirates

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