Dubai and Abu Dhabi don’t need a ministry of happiness – they need justice


“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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