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what do you think about the UPR recommendations to the United Arab Emirates?

Interesting recommendations
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The voting for this poll has ended on: August 2, 2018

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Geneva, May 22, 2019

The UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has decided on Thursday, May 16, 2019, to pardon and release activist Abdul Rahman Bin Sobeih Al-Suwaidi, detained in the well-known case of the UAE 94. He is one of the eminent Emirati figures known for his charitable relief work and humanitarian contributions in more than one Arab and Asian country.

On March 8, 2019, prior to his release, he was interviewed on Sharjah TV, Abu Dhabi TV and Emirates TV to review a book he wrote in prison entitled "Kebanjara", during which he was forced to give a testimony about his convictions and condemn his reform group.

Besides, the UAE authorities have also forced him to appear on Abu Dhabi TV and other Emirati channels on July 14, 2017, denying his exposure to abduction, enforced disappearance, torture, ill-treatment and unfair trial.

For the record, Abdul Rahman Bin Sobeih Al-Suwaidi was kidnapped on December 18, 2015 from the police station in Indonesia's Batam Island and taken by private plane to Abu Dhabi without a warrant.

The State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment and administrative control for three years, for belonging to a "secret proscribed organization (the UAE 94)” in a trial that lacks the most basic fair trial guarantees.

In fact, the decision of the UAE president only concerns Abdul Rahman Bin Sobeih Al-Suwaidi  who has not completed his sentence yet, while many other prisoners of conscience are still held in custody despite the completion of their prison terms.

The UAE authorities claim that they still represent a "terrorist threat" to the country and that they were placed in counseling centers for their guidance and rehabilitation pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on terrorist crimes. Among them are Abdul Wahid Al Badi, Saeed Al-Buraimi, Osama Al-Najjar, Abdullah Al-Helou, Faisal Al-Shehhi, Badr Al-Bahri, Ahmad Al-Mulla, Othman Al-Shehhi and Khalifa Rabiah.

On May 4, 2019, detainee Alia Abdul Noor died after a long cancer battle because of the authorities’ deliberate refusal and negligence to release her on medical grounds, despite the numerous calls of international organizations and UN agencies.

Indeed, the ICJHR notes that the pardon and release of Abdul Rahman Bin Sobeih Al-Suwaidi in exchange for giving a false testimony denying his deportation and exposure to torture and supporting the allegations of the UAE authorities, is made to oblige other prisoners of conscience to give false testimonies and deny the serious violations they have suffered from in order to be released.

The International Center for Justice and Human Rights therefore calls upon the UAE government to:

  • Unconditionally release all political activists, human rights defenders and bloggers without compromising their freedom.

  • Stop threatening and obliging prisoners of conscience to give false testimonies in favor of the UAE authorities and State Security Service, by denying their exposure to torture and ill-treatment, and violating their dignity and humanity.

  • Immediately release all the detainees who have completed their sentences including: Abdul Wahid Hassan Al-Badi, Saeed Abdullah Al-Buraimi, Osama Al-Najjar, Abdullah Al-Helou, Faisal Al-Shehhi, Badr Al-Bahri, Ahmed Al Mulla, Othman Al-Shehhi and Khalifa Rabiah without threatening them of prison or forcing them to appear on TV and condemn themselves for acts they did not commit.