Dr Nasser bin Ghaith beaten up and threatened at Al Razeen prison

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

Geneva, on October 26, 2018

Al Razeen prison administration have deliberately abused the academic and human rights activist Dr. Nasser Ben Ghaith and threatened him to death. This came shortly after he went on hunger strike to protest against the poor prison conditions and the serious violations to his fundamental rights.

He was deprived of his high blood pressure medication and prevented from receiving family visits a month ago, like many other prisoners including politicians, human rights activists and bloggers at Al-Razeen prison whom families were banned from seeing them.

In fact, Al Razeen prison is one of the worst prisons in the UAE, known for its overcrowded cells and the extreme heat inside the cells in addition to the lack of ventilation and the poor health conditions. Detainees are also deprived of access to appropriate health care and are randomly subjected to humiliating strip searches. Furthermore, they are systematically placed in solitary confinement and subjected to other arbitrary measures of the prison administration which arbitrarily.

To protest against the ill-treatment and his arbitrary detention, Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith started a hunger strike on Sunday, February 25, 2018.

This was not the first time that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith fought the ”battle of empty stomachs“. On April 2, 2017, he also went on hunger strike and issued a statement to the public from Al-Razeen prison, in which he confirmed his innocence and stated that his trial was unfair and politically motivated.

On 29 March 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal, under the chairmanship of an Egyptian judge, sentenced Dr bin Ghaith to ten years’ imprisonment for his posts on Twitter, in which he criticized the human rights violations committed by the Egyptian authorities. These posts were considered by the UAE authorities as a source of disturbance between the Emirati State and the Egyptian government and an incitement to sedition, hatred, racism and sectarianism, which damages national unity and social peace.

It is noteworthy that Dr Nasser Bin Ghaith was deprived from procedural guarantees and was not allowed a proper defence at his trial.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights in Geneva therefore calls upon the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release the academic, economist and human rights activist Dr Nasser Bin Ghaith and all other political opponents, human rights activists and bloggers detained in the UAE.

  • Treat the prisoners humanely and to refrain from violating their dignity and human rights.

  • Grant the prisoners all their rights recognized by the Federal Law on Regulating Penal Institutions and relevant international standards and to provide them with appropriate clothing so they can be protected against the coldness of Al Razeen prison.

  • Conduct a serious and impartial investigation into the human rights violations of the prisoners and bring to justice all those responsible for these violations.

  • Ensure a full reparation and rehabilitation to the victims.

  • Accept the visit requests of United Nations Special Procedures and grant them full access to all detention facilities in the country.

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

Press releasesPrisoners of consciences

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