Report detects inhuman conditions in Al-Mahara Central Prison [Archives:2007/1034/Local News]

March 19 2007

Al-Ghaida, March 18 ) The Democracy School (an NGO promoting democratic reform and human rights) has issued a report highlighting the shocking situation in the Central Prison in Al-Mahrah, describing it as unsuitable reform institution.

The prison, consisting of four conjoined buildings, is deteriorated and the infrastructure lacks a sewage system; so that bathrooms over flow into inmates' wards, causing them to live in unsanitary conditions. The situation has become so bad that algae has started to grow on their blankets and mattresses.

Further, female inmates are not separated from men, occupying a ward within the same building, a situation that goes against all laws and norms that regulate work in such prisons.

The flooding sewage system and general lack of cleanliness in the prison attracts mosquitoes, and many inmates are afflicted with Malaria and other contagious diseases. Moreover, inmates are not exposed to sun and this is clearly evident in the color of their bodies.

Medical services are absent and inmates afflicted with health problems are left untreated. Though one of the inmates has serious mental health issues, he is still kept with other inmates.

According to the report, the now redundant governor, Maj. Abdullah Shubail, knew about all these problems in his prison; however, he did not care. He would allow inmates to hospitals in return for money given to him, no matter whether they were actually sick or not. Recently, he was fired after he facilitated the escape of a Pakistani national accused of smuggling drugs.