I Steer Clear of Those Things

I Steer Clear of Those Things

I was still under investigation when I went to prison.
One of the police officers was called Mofeed. He was a decent man, to be honest.
I saw a 20 year old girl coming in.
Those kids are considered juvies until they turn 18. As soon as their bodies start to toughen up and develop they send them to prison.
They send them to prison when their bodies develop even if they’re still 15.

If a juvie gets into a fight, they transfer them to prison.
And there the prisoners beat them up.
“They’ll show you over there.”
That girl was a juvie.
She had guts.
She cursed a police officer.
I don’t really know anything.
I saw him take that girl.
Do you know how you tie a rope around a horse to train it?
He did that to her and told her to run.
I kept crying because I didn’t know what was going on.
Turns out she had cursed him and told him some really awful things.
He kept threatening to strip her of her clothes and do bad things to her.

Another girl called Amal called him a fag.
She kept silent with Mr. Mofeed.
Months passed, then she was the first to get into the transferring car when it arrived.
“Why are you transferring me, sir?” she asked Mr. Mofeed.
“Have you forgotten what I am? Aren’t I a fag?!” he said.
They transferred her to another prison so she and her family could suffer.
She’s already suffering in prison, but families suffer alongside the prisoners too.
They’d have to pay more than 5 or 10 pounds for transportation, and they go through a difficult time to get to the prison.
Being searched is also added suffering.
Smuggling things into the Qanater prison and selling them was easy.
But you get deprived of that when you get transferred to another prison.

There was a fight in the cell once and they cut a girl’s face with a soda can. They cut right through her face.
We woke up to find the authorities punishing us.
They hit us and made us stand with our faces against the wall.
After beating us up and cursing us, they took away our things while we broke out in screams.
They took away our clothes and cigarettes. But we got them back.

But other than that, there are good, respectful people in there.
There were people who paid zakat in Ramadan.
The jailers would even give me things to give out to the inmates who had children.
She would check to see who hadn’t been getting visits so she could treat them to something.
There’s some humanity in there, and that’s also thanks to the supervisors.

“My back hurts and I need medicine that costs 10 pounds,” a girl once told me.
“Get me this medicine because my back hurts,” I told the jailer.
She got it for me but turned out they used it as drugs.
They’d crush it with another type of drug and inject themselves with it.
I only got it that one time and I stopped getting it when I found out.
All I do is pray, fast, and worship God. I steer clear of those things.

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