When lovers of the ‘Arab nation’ proudly hail the ‘glorious’ common denominators bringing together the Middle Eastern and North African countries, they obliterate
another number of less glorious facets, one of which is the appalling conditions prevailing in prisons. Indeed, a quick look at the state of prisons in those countries
reveals practices of torture, arbitrary and illegal detention, disregard of the detainees’ right to defense and sometimes even death. In some countries, arbitrary arrests have even been legalized, mainly to target certain groups; in others,
physical punishment is prescribed by law.