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International Centre for Justice and Human Rights

Urgent appeal

Prisoner of conscience Omran Al-Radwan

reaches his fortieth day of hunger strike inside Al Rezeen prison

Geneva on 6 July 2017


Political activist Omran Al-Radwan reaches his 40th day of the hunger strike in Abu Dhabi's Al Rezeen prison after being subjected to humiliating search, stripped out of his clothes and touched from his intimate body parts by Nepalese guards on 25 May 2017 in clear violation of his privacy and intimacy without any necessity of doing so.

Political activist and legal observer at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Omran Al-Radwan was arrested by the State Security Apparatus in the well-known case of the "UAE 94” on July 16, 2012. He was subjected to enforced disappearance as well as torture and ill-treatment in secret detention centers and deprived of fair trial guarantees after that the State Security chamber of the federal Supreme Court issued a final verdict on 2 July 2013 that cannot be appealed in any way and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment for trumped-up charges of establishing an organization aimed at overthrowing the regime.

The prisoner of conscience Omran Al-Radwan is still under the psychological trauma that made him despair and neglect food and even write his final testament as if he was going to die because of the humiliating and degrading search and the sexual harassment he has been subject to. He also refuses to stop his hunger strike unless an investigation is opened, into this humiliating and unjustified searches that he and other prisoners were exposed to with no due reason, and that the perpetrators must be held accountable.

Besides, Omran Al-Radwan’s health has deteriorated as a result of his insistence on continuing the hunger strike in addition to the fact that he has lost some weight and started to feel afraid of falling and fainting when standing or walking. In fact, the only medical examination that he did has confirmed that his kidney function is affected by the hunger strike and that his health has worsened because of the lack of the appropriate medical care as well as the overcrowding of the prison and the spread of dirt and diseases with extreme heat.

The administration of the Al-Rezeen prison took political prisoners, lawyers and bloggers as hostages to deliberately abuse them, violate their rights and prevent them from seeing and communicating with their families for the most trivial reasons. Indeed, they were not allowed to have visits without any checkpoints, they were humiliatingly searched and put in solitary confinement and sometimes prevented from exercising their religious duties such as the Friday and common prayer.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) calls on all relevant human rights defenders of the UN Special Rapporteurs on the protection of human rights defenders, freedom of opinion and expression as well as Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and human rights organizations to require the authorities of the UAE to respond to the demands of the detainee Omran Al-Radwan and all those who suffer in Al-Rezeen Prison and to make the administration of Al-Rezeen prison desist from violating the rights of the prisoners that are guaranteed by the Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions, the 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 ICJHR holds the authorities of the UAE and the administration of Al-Rezeen prison fully responsible for the hunger strike and the health deterioration of the prisoner of conscience Omran Al-Radwan and calls on them:

  1. To listen to the demands of the detainees and to open a serious investigation into the conditions of detention inside Al Rezeen prison.
  2. To release the prisoner of conscience Omran Al-Radwan and provide him with the appropriate medical and psychological care.
  3. To treat the prisoners, especially human rights activists, inside Al-Rezeen Prison and the rest of the UAE prisons, in a dignified manner that preserves all their rights, such as enabling them to have family visits without barriers and stop putting them arbitrarily  in  solitary confinement and give them their full right of judicial appeal and their right to practice their religious rites and to allow them to pray on Friday in accordance with the provisions of Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions and Relevant International Standards, and to cease from making humiliating searches and sexual harassment against the prisoners for the most trivial reasons.
  4. Open a serious and independent investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment in the UAE prisons, which have affected the dignity of the prisoners and their physical and psychological integrity, and to hold accountable all those who are implicated in these violations and prevent their impunity and enable the victims of torture and ill-treatment of their right to redress and work on their rehabilitation. 


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