1 Year Anniversary of Osama al-Najjar's Release Date
Osama Al-Najjar was detained by the UAE authorities on 17 March 2014 for his online activism and was due to be released on 17 March of last year. Instead of this, however, Emirati authorities transferred him to a 'counselling centre' after the court considered him a “threat” to national security under Article 40 of the UAE Federal Law of Combatting Terrorism Offences. This was in spite of the fact the al-Najjar was originally convicted on the basis of Federal Law on Combatting Cybercrimes, not terror related offences.
The UAE authorities claim that the use of counselling centres is to guide and reform those convicted of terrorist offences by providing them with relevant psychological and social support. However, the use of the service in the above case suggests otherwise.
In 2014, Osama al-Najjar was sentenced to three years in prison after issuing tweets that expressed concern over his father's ill-treatment in prison. Osama's father, Hussain Ali al-Najjar al-Hammadi, who is currently serving an 11 year sentence, was one of a number of prisoners of conscience convicted in 2013 following the mass show trial of 94 government critics and reform advocates. Amnesty International consider both 'prisoners of conscience' and have consistently issued calls for their release.
Join us as we call for his immediate and unconditional release! ICFUAE will be marking the 1 year anniversary of his release date with an action in London on 17th March.
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