In my whole life, I experienced many kinds of confrontations. Some were risky, but they didn’t put me in an encounter with prison. My only idea about prison and its bizarre aura was through cinema screen.
Being a human rights activist and a member of Stateless Commission in Kuwait Society for Human Rights, I had to attend the stateless protest in the 2nd of October 2012 as an observer as part of the monitoring group of the Society. We wrote, prepared, and published a detailed report of the protest on time.
After the protest, I received a phone call from one of the police stations asking me to come in order to identify some of the phone numbers. They assured me that the situation is calm and the process will not take a long time. Deep down, I knew that it is a mere justification and they want to arrest me especially when they arrested other activist working on the same issue. I decided to go without publicizing the news because of my belief that I did not commit any mistake. Then, I was transferred to the Criminal Investigation in Salmiya in a civilian car. There, I met four other arrested activists. During the investigations, I stated my reason of attending the protest and that I am a human rights activist. All the arrested spirits had risen after the visits of the Kuwait Society for Human rights, Group 29, and ElHorya Organization.
Then, we were arrested for two days in a cell in the Criminal Investigation. During these two days, I was shocked by the place condition in one of the rich countries. It doesn’t even suit people who are innocent and not convicted yet. Every 15 detainee were kept in a 4×6 meters cell. The cell has only one bathroom that is open and only covered by half of a partition. There were only two blankets that we used one to put in underneath us on the floor and the second to cover us. The luckiest detainees of us were those who could get two extra blankets from the released detainees. One of the biggest problems that detainees faced was their desire to smoke. In case they could smuggle some, they would distribute it among themselves. Food was not of a good condition either, although I was on a hunger strike though my four days arrest in Salmyia and the public prison.
Then, when we were examined by the internal investigator, our charges were misdemeanor of assembly and inciting to it. Now, I came to realize the importance of adding the General Department of investigations to the Ministry of justice similar to public prosecutor.
To be honest, policemen and investigators treated us in a good way. The only problem we had is the poor condition of the building. The place and its accommodations were miserable and not hygiene. Even asking for soap required nepotism ‘wasta’.
In my next article, I will narrate the details of our journey to the Public Prisonز
(translated from Arabic by Fatma Al-Fadhli)