500 Days in a UAE Prison... for Having the Wrong Father
A desprate sister issued a letter to UAE authorities appealing for the release of her brother Mossab Abd el Aziz, the son of an adviser to the former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy.
Abd el Aziz has been detained since his arrest on October 21, 2014, on charges that he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He told his family that he had spent three months after his arrest in a state security facility that has been the subject of numerous credible allegations of detainee torture.
Abd el Aziz’s sister, Yara, earlier told Human Rights Watch that since his transfer to Al Wathba prison in early February 2015, he has been able to make telephone calls to his family every week or two.
In a call to his family, Abd el Aziz said Emirati authorities tortured him to get him to confess to membership in the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is a story about a boy who was raised in the glittering UAE, a boy who saluted the flag and sang the national anthem at school with pride, a boy who graduated from one of the best universities and became a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in an app-development company within four years, a boy who has been detained for 535 days in Abu Dhabi, the country’s capital, among thieves, drug dealers and rapists. His crime is simply having the ‘wrong’ father.
The boy in question is called Mosaab, and he is my brother, who on October 21st 2014 received a call from the UAE’s secret police asking him to go to their headquarters to answer some questions. With nothing to hide, Mosaab went willingly but to his utmost shock he was taken to the national security office in Abu Dhabi, where he was held in solitary confinement for 110 days without charge.
During that time he was persistently tortured by officers to get him to admit to accusations he knows nothing of; things related to his father Ahmed Abd El Aziz - the media advisor to the former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Mosaab is then bundled off to a prison called Al Wathba, to painstakingly wait for any explanation, clarification or even suggestion as to why he would be spending a further outrageous 425 days in detention without any charges against him!
The disappointing evidence ultimately arrives; a PDF document about the deep state in Egypt signed by his father, his fathers’ PayPal account, Mosaab’s Skype account and a “confession” smudged with his tears and signed in his blood. This so-called ‘solid’ evidence was enough for investigators to conclude that Mosaab is affiliated with the Muslim brotherhood, which he is not and never has been.
Following torture beyond comprehension, being discriminated against because of his father and being held unjustly for over 500 days, Mosaab is currently awaiting trial and he is terrified of what is to come.
The two formidable fates which he is now facing are either being sentenced to 5, 10 or even 15 years in prison in the UAE or being deported to Egypt, where he will endure an even greater injustice and his family might never see him again.
As his sister, I ask you to defend his case and share his story on your social media pages, but more importantly I truly ask, how can you help us put a stop to this injustice and bring Mosaab back to us?
I am for everyone paying for their mistakes as long as they have the right to a fair interrogation, access to a lawyer, tools to defend themselves and transparency. However, I do not believe someone should be punished for their peaceful beliefs, and definitely not for their father’s beliefs.
I have absolute faith that the free people of the world care and support innocent people like Mosaab. Please, don’t let him down ... my brother is Mosaab and he is not a terrorist.