Lebanon man jailed in UAE details 'bone-chilling' torture, psychological abuse
A Lebanese man serving a 15-year sentence for terror offences in the United Arab Emirates has detailed brutal torture methods allegedly used by authorities, Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported.
The newspaper published on Monday leaked audio recordings of Ahmad Makkawi describing "bone-chilling" abuses he had endured while being imprisoned in the authoritarian Gulf state.
"I don't want anyone to weep over me, I just want them to know that I have been wronged," Makkawi says in the recording, which has been verified by his lawyer.
"I was scalped, and sexually violated with a steel rod that was inserted into my rectum, causing tearing that required an operation to repair," he says.
"My toenails were ripped out and four of my fingers were broken during the torture. I was beaten so badly that my nose was broken and I developed a growth in my neck that had to be removed surgically,"
"They tried to slit the veins in my left hand and my face was so brutally beaten that I lost sight in one eye for a whole month. I was prevented from sleeping for two weeks. I was not allowed to bathe and had to sleep on the floor for two and a half months," he adds.
In 2016, the UAE sentenced Makkawi and six others to up to life in prison after convicting them of forming a cell linked to Lebanon's Hizballah militant group.
The charges included "passing classified information about a governmental department to Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist group and for the benefit of a foreign country".
The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council have declared Hizballah a "terrorist" organisation over its support for the Syrian regime.
Makkawi's lawyer Mohammed Sablouh told the Lebanese daily that the charges against his client were "baseless" and that Emirati authorities had extracted confessions from his client under torture.
Sablouh also condemned Lebanese officials for failing to take necessary measures to extradite Makkawi to Lebanon to serve his sentence there.
The report is the latest detailing brutal torture methods carried out in Emirati prisons.
Earlier this year, a UN report painted a grim picture of the human rights situation in the UAE.
The report condemned arrests and forced disappearances outside the legal framework and the transfer of people to secret prisons under the pretext of being accused of "terrorism".
It added that authorities have used torture to force defendants to confess to the charges against them and deprive them of healthcare.