“Al Binghal bighal,” said one police officer to another: “Bengalis are animals”.
It was my second week in Al Sadr Prison in Abu Dhabi when I had to make a visit to the clinic. As per procedure, I had to be searched before being returned to my cell. I stood in a line made mostly of Asian workers; an officer sat on a chair as prisoner after prisoner stepped up towards him.
But this was no airport-style frisking – the prisoners were roughed up and manhandled, their clothes nearly torn off. In my time at al-Sadr Prison in Abu Dhabi, I saw Asians regularly get punched, slapped, and insulted, and they do not dare protest, or they’d get even worse treatment.
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The coming days will bring a lot of more details, and much of the analysis will be understandably passionate and angry. But once everyone’s anger, fear, and disgust subsides, if there’s anything to remind ourselves of, it’s that this problem can’t be disowned or exported any more. These terrorists are not «foreigners» from «out there» – these are products of these very societies.
Read article on Aftenposten
Saudi Arabia executed 47 prisoners on terror charges earlier this month, including the Shiite cleric and government critic Nimr al-Nimr. This triggered major protests by Shiites in countries such as Iran where the Saudi embassy was attacked. But what do the growing tensions between Riyadh and Tehran mean for the region?
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