D.J. Williams Tells High Times of Human Rights Abuse in Middle East

Former Richmond musician gives a fuller account of his arrest for "vape pen."



Longtime Richmond musician D.J. Williams, who now lives in Los Angeles, was detained last April while visiting his sister in the Middle East.

Rumors were circulating at the time, but now Williams is giving a fuller picture of what happened to High Times magazine, and it isn't pretty.

He was arrested for having a vape pen and thrown in truly deplorable conditions, where he was beaten by other prisoners who called him "Donald Trump," placed in solitary confinement and pushed to his limits before the charges were reduced and he was deported.

Below are just some of the conditions he experienced in an Abu Dhabi prison which have left him with "slight PTSD," not to mention a totally changed perspective on the rights we have in America.

Around the corner from his cell was a prayer room, and next to that, the dining hall. Flies hovered over a collection of half-eaten fruit, stale rice and chicken. The drinking water was brown, and there were only three or four cups everyone shared.

One day, the guards brought in a man named Abdullah. He was covered in sweat, his skin ghostly white. He slept on the floor, and when the prosecutor called upon him, he wouldn’t budge.

“I went to nudge him. His body was cold, and his eyes were open,” said Williams. “He had died. The guards made jokes as they put him in a body bag as if nothing had happened.”