On the International Day of Happiness

Sadism. The path of state security officers to happiness in the UAE

22 Mar 2022
Sadism. The path of state security officers to happiness in the UAE

March 20 of each year is the International Day of Happiness, through which the United Nations General Assembly recognizes the importance of happiness and well-being as two universal values that people around the world strive for.

Although happiness is a "fundamental humanitarian goal," according to the United Nations, UAE authorities have used the term in recent years to transform it from a humanitarian goal into a political and media goal, with the aim of burnishing their image and covering up their poor human rights record.

The UAE is the first Arab country to establish a Ministry of Happiness, and the term happiness is common in state media and around the world. The most important measure of happiness is the feelings of the individual.

The concept of happiness varies from person to person, but have you heard that some social groups, such as prison guards or interrogators, strive for happiness? Do you have any idea what makes a detective or a prison officer happy in the United Arab Emirates? How do these categories achieve happiness in a country that ranks first in the Arab world in the happiness index?

The short and, at first glance, perhaps shocking answer is: the misery of prisoners and defendants. The more detailed answer is that their feelings are mocked and their rights are violated by torturing them physically and psychologically. These, by the way, are common practices among prison guards and interrogators in general. The Washington Post revealed in 2004 that soldiers of the Americans forced Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison to do humiliating things just to amuse themselves and not to prepare them psychologically for interrogation.

This is very similar to what happened and is happening today in UAE prisons and investigation basements. For example, Major Matar Al Balushi, head of the Prisoner Affairs Department at Al Wathba Prison, enjoyed punishing prisoners for trivial reasons, collectively denying them phone calls, family visits, or the purchase of food because he found a water stain on the floor.

Prison guards enjoy tying prisoners by the legs and hands for hours, much like chaining animals, and taking pleasure in their suffering or threatening them with beatings and rape and laughing at their reactions.

Prison guards passed their boredom by breaking into prisoners' cells and searching them in a humiliating manner, scattering their belongings and throwing them on the floor. If a prisoner resisted, he was beaten and put in a solitary cell.

In Al-Razeen Prison, prison officials played loud music while prisoners slept to wake them from sleep and laughed at how they woke up. This method caused Dr. Muhammad Al-Roken to faint and led to infections in his ears.

As for the interrogation rooms, the methods of mockery and entertainment are endless. For example, on August 29, 2018, two detainees, Maryam Al Balushi and Amina Al Abdouli, were summoned for interrogation, and upon their arrival, they were told that the interrogator was busy smoking, and after waiting for a long time, they were told that the investigation had been canceled.

Perhaps one of the most striking stories revealing sadistic tendencies and mental disorders in the behavior of some State Security interrogators to make them happy is the behavior of one of the interrogators towards detainee al-Abdouli. I can eat nuts and whatever I want, but you can not eat anything".

Some state security interrogators also liked to intimidate detainees by talking about the bad features of the prison where the detainee will go, as happened with detainee al Balushi when the senior prosecutor told her about the prison she would go to, "Al-Wathba prison is very bad, there are many misfortunes, may God protect us."

Dozens of cases were documented in which interrogators or prison guards tortured prisoners by beating or punishing them just for entertainment, and in one of the cases documented by the "Center" based on some testimonies of prisoners in Al-Wathba, prison guards refused to allow a prisoner to go to the medical clinic even though he felt severe pain in his abdomen, and when he fell to the ground in pain, they laughed loudly and mocked him.

The methods used by interrogators and prison guards to relieve boredom or entertainment cannot be counted. According to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry (5DSM), presented by many physicians and psychologists, such behaviors fall within the scope of sadism: the sadist uses physical violence to dominate, humiliate, or degrade people. He humiliates people in the presence of others and may cause a person to act harshly under his control because he feels amused by seeing the mental and physical suffering of others.

The French writer Marquis de Sade defined sadism as physical violence and tendency to psychological violence. Sadism is not just about sexual practices, as the public imagines, but it can also be part of an individual's daily practices at work or in public life. In this more aggressive behavior, the practitioners feel pleasure and joy in inflicting psychological or physical pain on another.

De Sade believes that happiness for these people lies in what provokes and excites them, and there is nothing that provokes except crime, and virtue, which is nothing but a state of lethargy and tranquility, does not lead to happiness, and therefore with every ounce of happiness that the Emirati investigator or prison guard achieves, there are indescribable amounts of pain that the prisoners of conscience feel.