Prison Conditions

Abdulrahman continues to face harsh and inhumane prison conditions. As a young Canadian with mental health issues in a high security American prison, this environment is causing him physical and emotional trauma. 

Abdulrahman is serving his time at USP Big Sandy, high-security federal prison, in Kentucky – a penitentiary that is 13 hours (1000 kilometres) away from us. He is detained in a maximum security wing in solitary confinement.  Prior to COVID-19, Abdulrahman’s family visited him on multiple occasions; however sometimes upon arrival, they were told that they could not visit him.

Here is a list of all the prison violations that Abdulrahman has endured:


  • Solitary confinement (Special Housing Unit)
  • No proper medication
  • No proper mental health treatment
  • No family calls
  • Shackled and captive behind glass wall when his family visits.
  • Lack of commissary money and therefore lack of essential items
  • Lack of outside time
  • Complaints/requests from Abdulrahman and his family are ignored
  • Harsh punishments like torture for minor infractions and false tickets (e.g. passing notes to inmates or exchanging items for stamps to mail letters to his family)
    • Handcuffs, belly chain, ankle shackles are often tight and painful – leaves marks months after
    • Eat and use the washroom while being in restraints (i.e handcuffs, belly chain, ankle shackles)
    • Sitting on knees on prison floors for hours
    • Unreasonable use of force by correctional officers/guards
    • Clothes made of paper are uncomfortable, rips and does not protect from the cold
    • Left in cold cages for hours
“People think that isolation is hard [because] we’re locked alone all day, but that’s the best part. When you consider them [correctional officers/guards] taking us out to put us in restraints, tie us to the bed, take all our stuff or make us go on our knees for hours (another incident that happened to me), we want to be left alone in a cell, that’s the best part of isolation”

Letter - March 25, 2020

Next: Abdulrahman Subjected to Torture

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"What makes this story even more disturbing is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) knowingly participated in this sting with the FBI. They unlawfully obtained Abdulrahman’s medical records that described his mental health vulnerabilities and provided them to the FBI to better manipulate this damaged youth.

This raises serious human rights concerns of discriminatory investigations, targeting vulnerable youths such as Abdulrahman, who had no previous history of violence or criminality, until drawn in by a U.S. government actively involved in developing the plot, persuading and pressuring the target to participate."

Dennis Edney

Canadian Defence lawyer