UAE: Brothers Abdullah and Fahd Al-Hajri still detained in Al Razeen prison despite the completion of their sentences

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

Genève, 10 June 2020 

The UAE authorities are still refusing to release detained brothers, Abdullah and Fahd Abdul Qadir Al-Hajri, after finishing their prison terms. They were consecutively due to release on July 12, 2019, and March 2, 2020. 

However, they are being arbitrarily kept at al Razeen prison, claiming that it had turned into a counseling center that aims at reforming and guiding released prisoners of conscience and activists.

For the record, Abdullah Al-Hajri, Chairman of the Executive Authority of the former National Union of Emirates Students, was arrested on July 18, 2012 and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, while his brother Fahd Abdul Qadir Ahmed Ali Al-Hajri was arrested on March 2, 2013 and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment as well.

The two brothers were exposed to multiple human rights violations, including enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture, unfair trial, solitary confinement, humiliating searches, health negligence and the denial of family visits.

The UAE has consistently refused to release political activists, human rights defenders and bloggers after serving their sentence and continued to hold them in Al-Razeen Prison under the pretext of counseling, which happened with activists Osama Al-Najjar, Badr Al-Bahri, Othman Al-Shehhi, Amran Al-Radwan, Mahmoud Al-Hoosani, Mansour Al-Ahmadi, Abdullah Al-Helou, Ahmed Al-Mulla, Saeed Al-Buraimi, Faisal Al-Shehhi, Abdul Wahid Al-Badi and Khalifa Al-Rubaie.  

Besides, Emirati officials will force and intimidate those who have finished their prison terms and shall be consequently released, to appear in the media asking for forgiveness and redemption and denying their exposure to torture, enforced disappearance and unjust trial.

The ICJHR has previously affirmed that placing released prisoners in a counseling center is a form of arbitrary detention, especially since the UAE did not guarantee any effective judicial and administrative grievances against this decision and did not specify a clear time limit for it. They had solely recourse to a broad and vague term, such as “terrorist danger” against those sentenced for expressing their opinions, which facilitates the arbitrary use of counseling centers to arrest human rights defenders, political activists and bloggers.

The ICJHR therefore calls upon UAE government to immediately and unconditionally release activists Abdullah and Fahd Abdul Qadir Al-Hajri after consecutively completing their sentences on July 12, 2019 and March 2, 2020.

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

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