I have read 'My Prison
Life' on the website suggested by you and it seems it was very likely Al Wathba Central Prison my friend was
incarcerated. The description of the food, the stifling heat, lack of ventilation was described in much the same way.
My friend was saying he slept as close to the gap on the floor near the door in order to get a breath of air. He mentioned that the food for
lunch was served on one platter per five persons, no eating implements and everyone simply had to use their hands. He also mentioned some kind
of meat, rice, vegetables all mixed together. Soup in the evening,
'My Prison Life' also mentions the different treatment for locals and
Arabic people compared to others. My friend is from Iraq and he felt he was treated reasonably by the guards, but he thought this was mainly due
to the fact that the guards were Yemenis and that Yemenis liked Iraqis. He was also able to see a doctor occasionally.
He told me that many people suffered from all kinds of skin diseases and respiratory problems. People were from Afghanistan, India, Iran,
Pakistan and Russia and others.
He thought there was not much trouble in the prison as people were kept in order by beatings with belts from guards. For example if people
didn't get out of their cells on time at 5 a.m. for the muster, they would be beaten.
The time I'm referring to here is about 1996.
You may be interested to know about my friends most terrifying time, which was when he was first arrested on the mountains and then taken to
Ras Al Khaimah to a police station.
First he was interrogated for about an hour, names, nationality and so on. Later a higher official came and had a black hood put over him and
he was bundled into a car. He was not told where he was going to and when they arrived it was impossible to tell if it was a prison or a
The black hood was removed and replaced by a bandanna/kerchief over the eyes and told not to try and look at anything or anyone.
The interrogation went on for hours, probably about six hours. After being totally
exhausted and terrified th guards took him to a room that had cameras everywhere.
The guards came and took him back again for further interrogation for about another four hours. He had no food in about 16 hours.
When they could not get the answers they wanted he was beaten with plastic batons on his hands and then thrown on the ground, where the
beatings continued, especially on the soles of his feet.
The interrogators insisted he must have been sent by Saddam Hussein to foment a revolution and it took a long time for them to see, as my
friend told them if that were the case he would have had a passport, documentation, money, airline tickets. Finally after many cruel hours of
beatings and interrogation they eventually gave up and pushed him out of the door to another cell.
When the beatings were over, he was told nothing, but the following morning he was taken to either another police station or prison in Abu
Dhabi and kept in one cell in complete isolation for 17 days before being transferred to the central prison.
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