On July 2, 2014, a full year has elapsed since the trial of 94 Emiratis, including 13 women, before the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, tried for violation of Article 180 of the Criminal Code, “conspiracy against the regime and belonging to a secret organization.” Sentences condemned part of the accused to 7-15 years in prison and some had a presumption of innocence.
It is known that members of the group belong to the association of social reform; an organization authorized by the government and is part of civil society who works for social reform. Some members demanded political reforms and democracy in the United Arab Emirates through a petition that was presented to the Head of State. A large part of all segments of society supported this petition for the lifting of restrictions on freedoms and the holding of free and democratic elections to choose members of the Federal National Council.
It is known that the accused persons occupy an important place in society and senior positions in several areas, among them:
• Sheikh Sultan bin Kayed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Board of the Association for the Reform and cousin of the Governor of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah
• Judge Mohammed Saeed Abdouly, President of the Criminal Chamber of the Appeal Court in Abu Dhabi
• Dr. Mohamed al-Mansouri, Legislative Counsel and the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah
• Dr. Mohamed Abdullah Al-Roken, a lawyer for Human Rights, a law professor and former president of the Association of Jurists
• The Advocate Salem al-Shehhi
• Dr. Hadef Al-Owais, a law professor and lawyer
• Ali Al-Kandi, State Councilor and former Lawyers Association
• Dr. Issa Al Suwaidi, former director of education in Abu Dhabi and education expert
• Ali Hammadi, Expert and Professor
And other dignitaries that work on the UAE to be a state of law and a civil society and democracy that respects the rights of its citizens to participate.
However, the UAE regime represented by the security forces did not appreciate this reformist orientation. They fomented fabricated charges under the pretext that they claim rights to replicate the Arab revolution that was at its peak in the early arrests in the ranks of all supporters of the reform in July 2012.
The trial was marred by numerous legal and procedural irregularities documented by a group of observers and activists of human rights and who felt it was an unfair trial that does not meet the elementary standards of independence and impartiality.
The irregularities reported are as follows:
• Arbitrary arrests since the summer of 2012 and the detention in secret places and under poor conditions for months without informing families
• Exposure to torture, ill-treatment and isolation for long periods
• The total blackout on the trial
• Deny the presence of observers and the media, which is detrimental to the principle of public trial
Prohibit lawyers and the defense team to obtain the documents of conviction or interview clients before trial and in the best case the meeting is done in the presence of an official of the Security State
• Threats to the families and relatives of detainees and the interrogation of some people, especially
• women without the presence of lawyer
• Judges refuse to investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment or punish the perpetrators.
To condemn and to recall this injustice trial and moving for the release of prisoners of opinion in the UAE, the International Center for Justice and Human Rights launched an international campaign to:
1- Support prisoners of opinion and their families
2- Require the abandonment of all charges and unjust judgments issued against them
3- Claiming the release of all prisoners of opinion.
The ICJHR calls upon all international organizations, human rights defenders, all personalities, lawyers and all supporters of fair issues to support the campaign as well as actions and events that will be held successively in the coming months in order to denounce these violations and call the UAE authorities to release all prisoners of opinion and to lift all restrictions on rights and freedoms.
To support the campaign, please contact the International Center for Justice and Human Rights by:
E-mail: Icjhr.geneva @ gmail.com
facebook page: ICJHR geneva
Twitter: @ icjahr