26 March 2020 – Saudi Arabia

On 26 March, the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) announced that 250 foreign detainees – held on non-violent immigration and residency offences – had been released from detention facilities. A HRC spokesman stated that more releases were to be expected. Previously, on 18 March 2020, Saudi authorities decided to close tribunals for two weeks and […]

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Indian Migrant Workers Held in the Riyadh Immigration Detention Centre, 15 June 2015, (https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150615-a-cry-for-help-from-inside-a-saudi-detention-centre/)

25 March 2020 – Ireland

Ireland does not have specialized immigraiotn detention centres, instead using prisons and jails to detain people for immigration reasons. In Irish prisons, the prison administration announced on 13 March 2020 restrictions regarding visits. Visits are only allowed for 15 minutes, once a week and per prisoner. Visitors under the age of 18 and those that […]

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Derick Hudson, Mountjoy Prison Fence and Wall in Dublin, Shutterstock, (https://www.thejournal.ie/prisons-ireland-coronavirus-5046229-Mar2020/)

23 March 2020 – United Arab Emirates

UAE authorities provide little information regarding where non-citizens are detained for immigration-related reasons. Some sources indicate that the country has operated at least one dedicated deportation facility, but detainees are also known to have been held in criminal prisons. Authorities announced on 23 March 2020 that all inbound, outbound, and transit flights would be suspended […]

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Inside an Emirati Prison, (https://thearabmirror.com/%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%8A%D9%82-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A-%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B9/)

23 March 2020 – Poland

On 23 March 2020, the Ministry of Justice announced plans to extend a programme under which some prisoners are allowed to serve their sentence at home to help curb the spread of coronavirus. The proposal could benefit up to 12,000 prisoners and they would be kept under electronic supervision. The GDP has been unable to […]

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A Polish police officer stands at the country's border with Germany, symptoms testing drivers entering the country (https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-poland-prisons/poland-to-let-more-prisoners-serve-sentences-at-home-amid-coronavirus-idUKKBN21A20C)

22 March 2020 – Qatar

Riots have broken out in Qatar’s prisons. In the central prison in Doha, prisoners attacked a guard and burnt several cells. It has also been reported that the administration is refusing to release prisoners even though Covid-19 is spreading within its penal institutions. Rioters are being placed in isolation, without water, food or cigarettes. Some […]

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Pete Pattisson, Dormitory of Migrant Workers Living in the Industrial Area Outside Doha, (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/mar/20/covid-19-lockdown-turns-qatars-largest-migrant-camp-into-virtual-prison)

20 March 2020 – Honduras

In mid-March, the Honduran government declared a state of “health emergency” and suspended all visits to prisons following reports of two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country. In addition, staff and detainees must wear masks in Court. The GDP has been unable to obtain information concerning measures taken within the “Centros de Atención al […]

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Families gather outside a Honduran prison (https://radiohrn.hn/suspenden-visitas-en-carceles-de-honduras-para-prevenir-contagio-de-coronavirus/)

18 March 2020 – Romania

In Romanian prisons, measures such as the curtailment of visitation hours have been taken to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spread. However, on 18 March 2020, a riot broke out at the Satu Mare prison, leaving three inmates dead and two others seriously injured. The GDP has been unable to find any reports indicating that […]

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Inmates in a Cage During Recreation in Bucharest Prison, 2 August 2017, (https://www.facebook.com/1476809705691193/photos/a.1476899899015507/1477810418924455/?type=3&theater)