Safaa Al-Khawaja: Blind Prisoner Jaafar Maatouk has Long Story with Pain

2021-03-15 - 6:33 p

The blind prisoner, Jaafar Maatouk, has a story full of pain and cruelty. He is blind, unable to move and cannot live inside prison.

Maatouk was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 2016 and had his citizenship revoked over political reasons.

According to the basic rules for the treatment of prisoners, he is a person with disabilities, and so he requires specialized care both in his place of imprisonment and in his need for treatment and health care. Maatouk has already complained about harassment and denial of treatment, his family reported.

There is a legitimate question in this sad tale, how can a blind man be a member of an armed cell and carry out bomb blasts?

Jaafar Maatouk was arrested at Salmaniya Hospital, where he was receiving treatment after he had an accident in which he lost his eyesight. 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stipulates multiple safeguards and arrangements to alleviate the suffering of the disabled, as detention, alone, can increase the plight of persons with disabilities. This convention obliges the states to protect the freedom and security of these persons.

A psychological study indicates that the blind person lives in two worlds, a world of his own which he lives in, and the other real world which normal people live in. Thus, the blind person is less self-adapted and less compatible with society and when subjected to arbitrary arrest, the magnitude of pain he sustains is double and may lead to unsafe results.

Prisoner Jaafar Maatouk has the right to be immediately released due to his humanitarian situation.

International bodies have expressed increasing concerns in the case of detainee Jaafar Maatouk. He expects the international community to feel his suffering and urges that the concern expressed be transformed into tangible action that would allow him to enjoy freedom among his family and community members.

Activist in the human rights field

Arabic Version