Friday, June 30, 2006

UAE Prisons

First of all, thank you CG, for linking this article in your blog. It just so happens I’ve got a UAE prison experienced friend of mine at my place today to help me move, as I came and opened this link of yours. I read the link to him and it induced a very interesting conversation; Prisons in the UAE.

Before I go on, I’ll make clear that I’m not going to mention this persons name, but give him a fake one, T, and my blog may very well be banned for posting this. But if that happens, it’ll be worth it. So, if this becomes good-bye, it was fun while it lasted, all.

T has been in prison more times in the UAE than he can count or remember. Most times, it’s been for alcohol consumption and/or fighting. His sentences have taken place in Abu Dhabi the Central Prison: Al Wathba, CID Department and the Military Jail. In Dubai, he’s stayed in the Central Prison; Jumeirah, and the smaller ones Al Rashidiya, Muraqqabat, Al Gusais, Bur Dubai, and Al Rafaa. In Sharjah, the CID one; Mudeerria, Markez Al Qarb, and Buhairah. In Ajman he can’t remember the name, and claims this prison is much like a home.

His experience in this field in invaluable. He relays that the worst of all prisons here that he’s been to is the Abu Dhabi Central Prison, Al Wathba. Here he claims that the inmates there are not given tasty food, they are not allowed to take any bottle inside the actual prison rooms, excepting plastic and you’re not allowed to take bread, eggs, or dates from the cafeteria. You are searched for food before leaving the cafeteria. You are allowed, biscuits that are mixed with dates, laban (a yogurt drink), Pepsi & Seven-Up in plastic bottles, nuts and cigarettes. For things like Panadol, you must see the doctor in the clinic and swallow it in front of them. Afterwards your mouth is searched.

Also in Abu Dhabi prison, on a brighter side, there is a place for sports such as football, volleyball & basketball. There is work available inside that consists of tailoring, painting, etc. But you are only paid amounts in the hundreds of dirhams as a salary each month. They have inmate actors and compose plays on stage in front of inmates and guards alike. All of which activities will allow you better facilities; longer visitation rights or time on the phone.

Please note now that Central Prisons are not like the smaller ones as in Rashidiya and other police stations or CID.

In Dubai Central Prison, T had lots of fun. He claims you can learn just about anything inside and everything available on the streets is also available inside; excepting women. What is not ready-made can and is made by the inmates. In his own words, Dubai Central Prison is heaven. He felt like he was at home only you can’t walk out the doors at any given time. A year will pass and it will feel like two days, he laughed. There are some people who don’t wish to leave.

Inside the prison, T claims that there isn’t such a racial divide as there is in the outside or free society of the UAE. Inmates are not followed around by guards, nor are they locked into their cells at night. Bathrooms are much like the bathrooms you will find in a public center and they are open for use twenty-four hours. You will not be escorted to the bathroom and you are given your privacy. You have a separate room for showing to assure modesty.

You are given a blade for shaving, however you must sign for it and return it within two hours. If you fail to return it, you will be beaten, be stripped of telephone use and visitation rights as well as smoking. You will then be sent to isolation in a room not big enough for you to stretch out. Stretches in isolation may last up to 24 hours, until the blade is found.

If a fight should break out in the prison and a weapon (of any sort) was used the consequences are as follows. The judge will first inquire about whether or not you were intoxicated. Being found intoxicated will lessen any consequences because you were not in the right state of mind. However, you will have an additional 5 to 10 days added to your sentence as an intoxication charge in addition to the consequences of fighting. Then the judge will investigate the weapon. If it was found that you brought the weapon to the fight yourself, the sentence will be severe because it proves intent.

A typical day in Dubai Central Prison starts before the morning prayer time, when an inmate shouts, “Safaaaaaaaiiiii!” which means ‘Clean’. It’s only in the central prison where inmates are expected to clean, in the smaller prisons there is cleaning staff. Inmates then clean the floors, toilets, and general tidying of any trash (biscuit wrappers, etc) lying around.

After cleaning you can shower and then eat your breakfast. Breakfast usually consists of Breakfast cereal, eggs, cheese, butter, Egyptian foul, and other such foods. Juice, milk and tea are also available. Once you’ve done eating you’re given a cigarette break where you can go outside and smoke a cigarette. You are given a cigarette break ever two hours or so for the rest of the day. In the smaller jails, after every cigarette you must return the cigarette buts to the guards to insure you will not attempt to smoke later causing a fire inside.

**In the Dubai central jail there is a canteen where food such as hamburgers and other types are available. You can order, from four pm the line up for the orders start. In the smaller jails, such as Rashidiya, Al Gusais or Bur Dubai, inmates can order fast-food such as KFC, or Hardies right to their cell.

From sometime around 3pm you’re allowed to make phone calls, every day. Each inmate is given 10 to 15 minutes on the phone. You must purchase a phone card from inside the prison in order to make your calls. In central prison, your money is kept in a safe and you sign with a guard each time you take; a voucher of certain amount to spend in Abu Dhabi and actual cash in Dubai. What’s left of this money is returned to you upon your release.

The evenings inside the jails are spent playing checkers, and other board games, and watching TV. At night, inmates retire to a common sleeping area where each one is given a bed, and above most of the beds posted on the walls are magazine photographs of celebrity women.

In prison in the UAE, 1 month consists of 23 days and if you have good behavior you will leave the prison a quarter short of your expected sentence. T claims this isn’t hard to do, because unlike the image we see of ‘hardcoreism’, of American prisons, you are able to live your life normally inside. He says there’s no need to get all ‘gangster’ to protect yourself from other inmates. Fights do take place, as do a number things we can all assume (that I won’t be mentioning here out of hope that this doesn’t get me banned), but over all it’s not that bad a place. Some of the techniques are severe when it comes to suspected inmates attempting to smuggle in drugs. Consequences are tough and no one should want to visit such a place at all.

T asked that I mention one particular story concerning the Sharjah prisons. He was sentenced to 80 lashings, which is normally done in a public place. After being beaten 80 times with a stick in the middle of a street on a roundabout, he laughed in the officer’s face, because the crowd was laughing at him. The officer then gave him ten more. T laughed again, before they decided he was crazy and let him sit back with his friends who were in line for their own punishments.

T also asks that I say, “Sisters and brother, mans and girls. I’d like to say no one try to be ever in the jail but if you must be in the jail, it’s heaven. Welcome.”

**I might point out now, T isn’t the sanest of all folk I know. But I’m sure you’ve figured that out already by the number of prisons he’s been in and the stories he’s shared.

Now, we really have to get on with moving. One of you will give me a call and let me know if this gets banned while I’m away, right?


Blogger 1234dsfs said...

Sounds Fun

6:17 PM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

LOL... I wouldn't take his FULL word on it Ahmed. He is crazy. But seems to think it's just peachy... lol.

6:30 PM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger Harsha said...

Has he been to a jail in Sharjah?

Someone I know did.. its hell there.. it was a she.. she had to walk through pools of shit and urine to get to a toilet.

There are locked in the entire day and have to bang! bang! bang! the door to get out if they wanna puke cuz of all the stench.

They have absolutely nothing to do the entire day.

there are women locked up inside for ages without being allowed to get in touch with anybody to even inform them they are in there in the first place.

10:53 AM, July 01, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

'In Sharjah, the CID one; Mudeerria, Markez Al Qarb, and Buhairah. '

And there was no shit on the floors in these places.

11:03 AM, July 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don`t wish to nobody to appear in any of prisons or correction facility in Russia because UAE prison will seem to you a real heaven.When the jail guards put a bottle in the back side untill it gets full of or pulling your nails out. And there is a whole criminal world inside the prison with president, vice-premier etc. When for a wrong step which can be eating something alone, stealing things or informing guards about something, person is "put down" by being d from back side. And for the memory and other prisons quick info they tatoo a dot on him.And while he is in prison he sleeps next to the box and does all the dirty job.You can be punished as well for not paying lost ammount or some item in any game. It's just a small sample. But the truth and justice are on the first place in there. So is it a heaven Mr. T?:)))

2:46 AM, July 02, 2006  
Blogger Herlock Sholmes said...

Tainted, you crack me up!! I wonder if this tough exterior that you try so hard to show us doesn't, in fact, a soft, broken heart.

Nice post

12:18 PM, July 02, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

That's exactly it, herlock. And I've actually told you all this!! More than once.

And thank you. Coming from the king of comedy, that's quite the compliment!

12:27 PM, July 02, 2006  
Blogger Cosmic girl said...

enlightening... my hubby had to visit someone in prison.. and he hated the experience of actually visiting the guy...
plus.... this is only one side of the story... I wonder how the women are treated in the prisons...
makes you wonder...

8:31 AM, July 03, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

cosmic girl,

a few years back there was a write up in 'Friday Mag' about the woman's prison in Dubai. It didn't sound so bad; the walls were painted pink. lol. that's about all I remember of it though.

I wouldn't want to be in any prison here, but to be honest from what I've learned, it's the interrogation that's the worst part of it all.

9:56 AM, July 04, 2006  
Blogger Cosmic girl said...

pink walls?!?!
I think that would kill me...

10:21 AM, July 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot!

1:47 AM, October 05, 2006  

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