A Prisoner but Also a Woman

A Prisoner but Also a Woman

Ammar Al-Shami

Lawyer and Human Rights Activist

It was a morning full of awareness.
It was a busy morning full of details and I found myself before so many conclusions. That morning, my perception grew deep in a way that invites my curiosity to know much about women prisoners’ issues.

I woke up realizing that women, especially Yemeni women, suffer a lot from negative discrimination, as well as her advantages that turn her suffering into positive isolation; that is why I decided to visit her in prison to know how women are now.

The feeling of imprisonment is bad for men and women. We all know that but what the majority of people are ignorant of is the extent of the blackness that the imprisoned women suffer in Yemen.

My concern about female prisoners here aims to clarify the stages of darkness that overwhelm them. Perhaps the first dark stage is the prison in itself, which is obvious for those who committed a sin. The second stage of darkness lies in the negligence and procrastination in looking into the issues of the imprisoned women, which is another sin; however, it is not by the women prisoners, nor the prison, nor even the law that grants them a distinct right due to their particularities.

The sin in the second stage of darkness falls on the shoulders of the administration concerned with providing all aspects of dignity to Yemeni women, whether in terms of the health care in prison or the special attention to food, drink, rehabilitation and others.

Many question marks swirled in my mind when I noticed the negligence, which, even if it was not deliberate, is a sin whose perpetrator is no less than the most criminal prisoners in this overcrowded center of woes and suffering.
The psychological and moral strength of women is undoubtedly negative in this situation, especially since the third stage of darkness is focused on the reputation and societal perception that will surround the women inmates after their release. Trust me, if I were a woman prisoner, I would not have refrained from committing the crime that was previously the cause of my imprisonment. Inevitably, everyone deserves to be hanged due to the suffering I endured throughout my detention. I also realize that I need a distinguished psychological and moral rehabilitation at a high level of quality and excellent health and nutritional care.
It is difficult for me to describe the size of the hell that women prisoners face in Yemen. If I am a human rights journalist, I can translate and transmit what my mind catches when I see it. However, I stand unable to describe what I realized during my visit to the women's prison, which is overcrowded with tragedies and full of emotional states that exceed cases of oppression of men by stages a lot.
It is a difficult matter - I mean explaining the suffering of female prisoners - but the most difficult thing is how many women lack care in their dignity-preserving limit.
Preserving their dignity will achieve the lofty goal of their imprisonment, i.e., their understanding of the mistake they have done and the reform of their conditions. Here, I hold the administration this responsibility, that they already know, the society, the media, the preachers, the scholars, the thinkers, the intellectuals, and everyone who understands the existence of women who are more responsible than the administration.

On my visit, I realized "what and not who" is the woman prisoner in Yemen. I also realized the blessing of the capable administration, and that humans have the ability to contain hell between four walls if they did not bear responsibility Moreover, I understand things that I would not have understood had I not visited the women's prison.
At the end, we must all be aware of our obligation towards female prisoners, especially with regard to the application of the law that preserves their dignity.

These are several things that we must bring to our attention, starting with that women have special needs that require our attention. Women in prison are like those with special needs. Finally, a human being is indeed the primary focus of attention and the pillar of all the activities of the universe.
We must realize this in the right of the imprisoned woman.

I am done now.

Aha, I remembered.
The fourth stage of the women’s darkness is to be overlooked by journalists and activists.

Don't forget this.
We bear a burden of their suffering, no less than those who made them suffer.
Now I can say that I have finished my words even though I realize that there is no end to such an issue.