Academic Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla released but Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith remains in prison, rights group says
While the Gulf Centre for Human RIghts (GCHR) welcomes the release of academic and activist Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla from detention in the United Arab Emirates on 26 January 2017, it calls on the government to release Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and drop all the charges against him immediately and without any conditions.
On 16 January 2017, Dr. Abdulla was arrested by the UAE State Security Apparatus. He is a prominent political science professor and human rights defender. It is believed that he was arrested as a result of postings he made on Twitter in which he promoted freedom of expression in UAE.
The case of human rights defender Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith has been adjourned until 22 February 2017 following a brief hearing before the Federal Appeal Court. His trial to date has failed to meet basic international standards for a fair trial.
Once again, the GCHR urges the authorities in the UAE to:
- Immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith as his arrest and detention are solely related to his peaceful human rights activities;
- Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith while he remain in detention;
- Immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against all human rights defenders who are being detained as a result of their legitimate human rights activities and the exercise of their right to freedom of expression; and
- Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the UAE are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.