The Human Rights Watch group said former prisoners of the Dubai central jail, Al Awir, often saw treatment delays or interruptions. And, in some cases, they never got their treatments. According to International guidelines on human rights, prison inmates have the right to get medical treatment.
HRW Deputy Middle East Director Michael Page said the UAE is obligated to provide prisoners with healthcare, which also includes antiretroviral drugs, to prisoners without discriminating against them.
Former Al Awir prisoners with HIV said testing was done every three to six months, but with no guaranteed access to treatments. They claimed prison officials acted indifferently to the care requests and some prisoners were detained only because they tested HIV positive.
HIV prisoners were also isolated from other inmates and experienced both systemic and stigma discrimination.
A source informed the HRW that one prisoner became sick after four months with no treatment with test results showing the start of AIDS.
The UAE, which is a member state of the UN, is dedicated in a global effort to eliminate AIDS by 2030. The United Nations’ standards on human rights and prisons state prisoners must be given medical care. A UN human rights experts had criticized the conditions where a UAE activist was held earlier this year.
According to the UN, Ahmed Mansoor was jailed for “defaming” the country via social media – given no water or bed – and had to endure long periods of solitary confinement, which was determined to be torture.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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