WEB POLL

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

Interesting recommendations
25%
I expected better
50%
I don't have an idea
25%
Total votes: 4
The voting for this poll has ended on: August 2, 2018

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Geneva, 4 May 2018


The State Security Chamber of the Federal Appeal Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor to 10 years in prison on 29th May, 2018, and issued a fine of one million dirhams in addition to the confiscation of all of his communicative devices. The Court also ordered him to be under administrative surveillance for three years after his release. According to local media, Ahmed Mansoor was jailed on charges of “provoking sedition, sectarianism and hatred on social media, which would harm the national unity and social peace as well as the State’s reputation and status in addition to inciting others to transgress the rule”, in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on combating cybercrimes.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) reminds that human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor was arrested on 20 March 2017 for his posts on social media in which he defended other human rights activists. The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion, together with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances have confirmed, on 28 March 2017, the arbitrary nature of the detention, called for his release and considered his arrest as “a direct attack on the legitimate work of human rights defenders in the UAE.”.

Besides, The ICJHR consider that human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor was subject to unfair trial. The authorities of the United Arab Emirates have violated the right of human rights activist Ahmed Mansour to freedom of opinion, expression and Internet that are guaranteed by international conventions as well as his right not to be subjected to enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and fair trial. He was not allowed to choose his lawyer that was forcibly appointed by the court and was not allowed to visit him in private in order to prepare his defense, in violation of fair trial guarantees set by international standards.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights strongly condemns the conviction of Ahmed Mansoor and unreservedly supports the struggle of this human rights defender for freedom of expression.

We call on international organizations, UN bodies and UN Special Rapporteurs to be united in solidarity with human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor in order to release him and defend his personal safety and dignity as well as his right as a human rights defender.

The International Center for Justice and Human Rights in Geneva therefore urges the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:


1- Immediately and unconditionally release the human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, sentenced for his human rights activities
2- Disclose his place of detention and pen an immediate and impartial investigation into his rights violations including the search of his house without judicial authorization, and his exposure to ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and hold accountable all person responsible for these violations before an independent and fair judiciary and give him his full right of reparation and rehabilitation for the physical and moral harm he has been subject to.
3- Stop intimidating, harassing and threatening human rights defenders when carrying out their human rights activities.

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Geneva, May 1, 2018

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) has learned that the authorities of the United Arab Emirates have not released prisoners of conscience Said al-Buraimi and Abdu al-Wahid al-Badi despite the fact that they have both finished their prison sentence on  March 5, 2018.

In fact, Abdul Wahid Hassan Saeed al-Badhi al-Shehhi (32 years old) and Said Abdullah Ismail al-Buraimi (42 years old), (both Emirati nationals), were arrested on March 5, 2013 and subjected to enforced disappearance in a secret detention center for nine months. On March 2, 2014, they were subsequently sentenced by Judge Falah Al-Hajri, Headof the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court, to five years imprisonment in a final judgment for joining and funding a secret organization without having any fair trial guarantees in accordance with international standards.This judgement previously could not be appealed in any way.

It is well known that the UAE authorities are arbitrarily detaining the prisoners of conscience in counseling centers including Mr.Osama Najjar, Abdullah al-Hilou, Faisal al-Shehhi, Badr al-Bahari and Ahmad al-Mulla despite the expiry of their prison sentences and they are also renewing their detention under the request of the Public Prosecutor's Office since March 2017. Indeed, the ICJHR fears that Mr. Said al-Buraimi and Abdul-Wahid al-Badi did have the same fate without informing their families or lawyer.

Besides, the UAE authorities claim that the purpose of putting the prisoners of conscience who represent a terrorist threat in counseling centers is to guide and reform them in accordance with the requirements of Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on Combating Terrorism. However, the real reason behind the use of counseling centers, is to cover the UAE’s violations such as the arbitrary detention of activists and human rights defenders and their refusal to release them despite the end of their prison sentence.

Emirati officials also did not provide any effective judicial or administrative remedies for the victims after  the decision of putting them in counseling centers. Additionally, adopting this law on a loose and vague standard such as "a terrorist threat", will facilitate its use against human rights defenders.

Therefore, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights calls upon international organizations, the UNWG on Arbitrary Detention and the UN Special Rapporteurs for human rights defenders, torture and freedom of expression to urgently intervene with the UAE government and security authorities in order to hold them accountable for these arbitrary arrests.

The ICJHR also urges the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Said al-Buraimi and Abdu al-Wahid al-Badi and desist from placing prisoners of conscience in counseling centers and conduct an immediate and impartial investigation into the violations they have been subjected to as well as bring to justice all those who are implicated in these violations and grant the victims their right to redress, reparation and rehabilitation.

  2. To promptly amend Law No. 7 of 2014 in order to make it compatible with international standards and regulate the composition of counseling centers and put them under fair and independent judicial supervision and ensure judicial remedies and guarantees for the victims.

BIN GAITH WEB

Geneva, 6 March 2018


The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights has learned that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith announced his decision to go on a hunger strike onSunday, 25 February 2018, in protest against his ill-treatment by Al-Razeen prison authorities.


In fact, this is not the first time that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith announced his entry into a hunger strike. On April 2, 2017, he also went on a hunger strike and issued a statement to the public from Al-Razeen prison, in which he affirmed his innocence and stated that his trial was an unfair one, affecting his right to freedom of opinion and expression especially since it was carried out by an Egyptian judge who is considered biased. He also announced his rejection of the ruling, his decision not to appeal it and to go, instead, on a hunger strike, thus starting the battle for his freedom in addition to the fact that he asked the UAE authorities to release him and allow him together with his family to leave the country.


Instead of considering his demands, the administration of Al-Razeen prison has further harassed Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and violated all his rights following his hunger strike in April 2017 and his decision not to appeal the sentence. He was pressured and prevented from any visit or communication and his place of detention remained unknown for more than six months. He was also put in a cold room without any blanket until he stopped the hunger strike, in addition to the fact that his lawyer was prevented from communicating with him in order to persuade him to appeal the verdict.


We recall that the Federal Court of Appeal s unjustly issued its verdict on March 29, 2017 delivered by an Egyptian judge, sentencing Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith to 10 years imprisonment because of a post on his Twitter account @bin_ghaith, in which he criticized the human rights violations made by the Egyptian government.The UAE authorities considered this as disturbing the good relations with the Egyptian state via the Internet and provoking sedition, hatred, racism as well as sectarianism. They also believed that this damaged the national unity and social peace, in addition to the fact that Dr. Bin Ghaith did not have the necessary guarantees to defend self.


The ICJHR reminds that this is not the first time that the prison administration have abused academic and human rights activist Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith. Indeed, Al-Razeen prison authorities have deliberately deprived him of his high blood pressure medicationand did not provide him with proper medical care since he suffers from health problems due to enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment as well as imprisonment in solitary confinement in violation of the international minimum standards of detention and federal law on penal institutions.


The ICJHR holds the authorities of the UAE and the administration of Al-Razeen prison responsible in the case that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith’s health deteriorates due to the lack of appropriate medical follow-up for the hunger strikes according to the Malta Declaration of the World Medical Association in 1991.


The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights calls upon the UN Special Rapporteurs on the protection of human rights defenders, freedom of opinion and expression, torture and ill-treatment as well as the UN working groups and human rights organizations to put pressure on the authorities of the UAE in order to release Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, and desist from violating his rights and the rights of other prisoners in Al-Razeen Prison and other Emirati jails, which are guaranteed by the Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.


The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights also urges the authorities of the UAE to:

  1. Take full responsibility forthe hunger strike and the health deterioration of the prisoner of conscience Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith detained in Al-Razeen prison.
  2. Conduct a prompt and serious investigation by an independent body regarding the allegations of torture and ill-treatment that have affected the dignity and physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, and hold accountable all those responsible forthese violations in order to prevent them from impunity and punishment and give Dr. Bin Ghaith his full right to redress, reparation and rehabilitation.

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Geneva, 30 November 2017

The authorities of the United Arab Emirates have arbitrarily detained Mosaab bin Ahmed Abdul Aziz, holding him for sixteen days beyond the expiry of his three-year sentence. His term in Al-Wathba prison, on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, should have finished on 20th October 2017. However, he was denied immediate release on the grounds that authorities were waiting for a travel permit from National Security to allow him to leave the UAE.

Mosaab’s family was asked to buy his ticket on November 7th, but when they contacted Al Wathba prison on November 6th to confirm the ticket details they were told that Mosaab had already been deported that day, and flown to Cairo on Egypt Airways flight 915 at 12:55. He was sent to Egypt by force despite his sentence stating that he should have freedom of choice as to the destination for his deportation. 

His family assigned a lawyer to verify his travel, and the lawyer contacted the Egyptian Air Aviation Administration who, after checking the reservations and the names of the passengers, denied that Mosaab bin Ahmed Abdul Aziz had travelled on any of their aircraft from the United Arab Emirates.

When Mosaab’s family asked the Al Wathba prison authorities about the fate of their son, the prison administration insisted that he was indeed deported on Egypt Airways on November 6th. This was despite them having promised to deport him on November 7th, and after the family had booked him a flight on 7th November with Egypt Airways departing at 5:35.

After days of waiting and worry about the fate of their son, the family has learned that Mosaab is in Egypt. He is currently being kept at a secret detention location and denied access to a lawyer or family visits. This presents the concern that he could be subjected to torture and ill-treatment to extract confessions from him, and might also be tried a second time by the Egyptian judiciary.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) expresses deep concern about the UAE authorities’ violation of the provisions of Article III of the International Convention against Torture by the deportation of Mosaab bin Ahmed Abdel Aziz to Egypt, since there are serious reasons to believe that he is at risk of torture there as Egyptian officials are known to be systematically mistreating political activists.

We recall that Mosaab was arrested by the UAE State Security Services on charges of affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood movement on October 21, 2014 on the basis of confessions extracted under torture and ill-treatment, contrary to his assertion that he is not involved in any way in political activities. It is believed rather that he is being detained because of his father's work as an adviser to former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi. We also reiterate our concern that he has been denied the right to contact a lawyer and to family visits while under interrogation at a secret location.

In view of the above, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights holds the authorities of the UAE fully responsible for the deportation of Mosaab bin Ahmed Abdul Aziz to the Egyptian state, thereby turning him over to the Egyptian authorities in flagrant breach of the provisions of Article III of the International Convention Against Torture, which the UAE joined in 2012.

The ICJHR also calls on the Egyptian authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Mosaab Ahmed Abdul Aziz, to disclose the place of his detention, to immediately and unconditionally release him and to grant him his right to contact a lawyer and to receive family visits.

We call on the WGAD and WGEID to: 

1. Undertake the case of Mosaab bin Ahmed Abdul Aziz

2. Investigate his disappearance

3. Address the Emirati and Egyptian governments requesting them to reveal his circumstances and the place of his detention, to immediately release him and to grant him the right to reparation and rehabilitation.

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Geneva, November 14, 2017

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights has recently learned about the arbitrary arrest of two Swiss journalists in Abu Dhabi on November 9, 2017. They are reporter Serge Ederlin and cameraman Jon Bjorgvinsson of Swiss public broadcaster RTS. They were filming images in a market in Abu Dhabi when the UAE police stopped and interrogated them for several hours.

The journalists reported being detained separately in solitary confinement for 50 hours. They underwent interrogation at more than one location: a police station and the intelligence services. The authorities confiscated their phones, watches and work equipment including a camera, computer and hard drives.

The two journalists were forcibly disappeared for two days, held in multiple unknown locations without contact with the outside world or their families, and blindfolded during shuttles between different interrogation locations. Repeatedly and for hours at a time, they were interrogated on their relationship with NGOs or foreign states. Their arrest appears to have been linked to the journalists' attempt to film Pakistani workers at a market.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights strongly condemns this serious attack on press freedom and recalls that the UAE authorities are arbitrarily arresting residents and visitors alike to prevent the dissemination of information on the real situation of migrant workers, or of human rights in general.

The centre calls on the UAE authorities to open a transparent and impartial inquiry into the reasons for this arbitrary arrest and to stop all attacks on freedom of expression and the press.