Geneva– Concerns about Middle Eastern prison conditions during COVID-19 were raised by Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, in response to a Euro-Med Monitor report. Questions about the treatment of a growing number of infected inmates were posed to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell.
The report that inspired the questions exposed the poor conditions of prisons in the Arab region, including severe overcrowding, unsanitary practices, the absence of preventive measures and a lack of medical care.
A number of detainees in several Arab countries have been transferred to other facilities after being infected, raising concerns about the fate of thousands of others who still are not receiving minimum preventive measures.
Borrell was asked to explain the strategies the EU is pursuing with those governments to assure prisoners are safe. Likewise, he was asked to discuss possible actions the EU and member governments could take to influence Gulf countries to reduce the number of prisoners in overcrowded prisons, and to ensure they benefit from rights such as medical care and family communication.
Euro-Med Monitor regularly updates deputies in the European Parliament on the latest situation and news from the Middle East and North of Africa. Also, Euro-Med Monitor holds regular meetings with European officials to advocate for action against human-rights violators. In addition, Euro-Med Monitor’s reports serve as a resource for the parliamentary blocs when they pose questions to union officials related to human rights violations and the rights of migrants and asylum seekers.