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05 novembre 2018



Geneva, November 5, 2018

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) was expecting the UAE authorities to conduct an investigation into the recordings of the detainee Amina Al-Abdouli leaked in May 2018 outside Al-Wathba prison stating that Amina and other female detainees were subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Unfortunately, no measure was taken into the torture allegations to this day.

She was arrested because of her Twitter posts in which she mourned her father killed in Syria. The court considered these tweets as a terrorist offense on the basis of Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on Terrorism Crimes.

In fact, Amina Al-Abdouli testified about her arbitrary arrest and the raid on her house on November 19, 2015 by the State Security Forces without showing a warrant. She was held in a secret prison, along with her sister Moza Al-Abdouli and Maryam Al-Balushi, and kept in a narrow and windowless cell.

She was also stripped off her clothes, handcuffed, blind-folded and beaten in the face, which affected her eyesight. Besides, she was deprived from sleeping, forced to stand for hours, threatened and confessions were extracted from her under torture by prison guards.

The names of the torture perpetrators included Umm Ahmed, Sindeya Al-Naqbi and Major Matar Al-Balushi, in flagrant breach of the provisions of the Emirati Constitution and the International Convention against Torture ratified by the UAE in 2012.

Besides, Amina Al-Abdouli also reported about the spread of dirt, bad smells, insects and diseases inside Al-Wathba prison in addition to the overcrowding of the rooms. Prisoners in Al-Wathba prison lack healthy food, portable water, clean blankets and medical care, in addition to the extreme heat since the air conditioners are constantly shut down. They are also arbitrarily exposed to humiliating strip searches that affect their privacy and dignity.

Consequently, Amina Al-Abdouli went on hunger strike to protest against the ill-treatment and the denial of her right to family visits, to contact be assisted by lawyer and to see her five children directly without any barriers, contrary to the Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions.

As a reminder, Amina Al-Abdouli and her siblings Moza, Waleed and Mosaab were all brutally arrested in Al Fujairah on November 19, 2015 by the State Security Service and taken to a secret place of detention. They were denied the right to appoint a defence lawyer and deprived of family visits. After four months of enforced disappearance without being charged, Waleed Al-Abdouli was finally released. Moza Al-Abdouli was also released after she was acquitted in May 2016.

On June 27, 2016, Amina and Mosaab were brought before the Federal Supreme Court and charged – among other charges – of “undermining the image of the state” and “incitement to hatred”. On October 31, 2018, Amina was finally sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and fined 500,000 dirhams, pursuant to the Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on terrorist crimes and Mosaab was condemned to 7 years in prison and the seizure of all his electronic devices.

Mosaab and Amina Al-Abdouli were deprived of their right to a fair trial, including their right to have an attorney, the presumption of innocence. They were subjected to torture and ill-treatment and confessions extracted under torture were used against them in Court in serious violation of the Convention against Torture, ratified by the UAE.

In view of the above, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) calls upon the UAE government to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release Amina and Mosaab Al-Abdouli, and open a serious and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearance.

  • Hold accountable all those responsible for these violations and ensure appropriate reparation for the victims.

  • Accept the visit request of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and grant him full access to Al Wathba prison and allow him to meet with Amina and Mosaab and other alleged victims of torture.

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