ANHRI: Imprisoning academic Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith deepens the human rights violations record in UAE
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said in a statement today, “We declare prisoner of conscience Academic Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith has not received a fair trial and his sentence yesterday confirms how far human rights violations committed by the authorities in the UAE recently go, as the authorities refused to release Osama al-Najjar although his prison term ended, which he spent behind bars for tweets showing solidarity with his father, prisoner of conscience Hussein al-Najjar. On March 15, the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal sentenced Jordanian journalist Tayseer al-Najjar to three years in prison, half a million Emirati Dirham (Approx. 136 thousand USD $) fine and his deportation after fulfilling the sentence for allegedly insulting symbols of the state, against the backdrop of tweets in which he criticized the Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2014, and the arrest of human rights defender Ahmed Mansour on March 20, and also for using social networking websites for publishing false news and damaging the reputation of the country.”
On March 29, the state security court sentenced Nasser Bin Ghaith, an expert on international economic affairs, to 10 years in prison for allegedly spreading “false information to damage the reputation of the state and one of its institutions” against a backdrop of a series of tweets posted on the social networking website “Twitter”, in which he said that he did not receive a fair trial in a previous case.
on Tuesday evening, 18 August 2015, the State Security Agency arrested Dr Bin Ghaith from his home following tweets posted on his twitter account, https://twitter.com/n_binghaith, including a tweet in which he objects to the Abu Dhabi government’s decision to dedicate a land to the Hindu community to build a temple.
The charges against Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith include “committing an act of hostility against a foreign country,” referring to his criticism of Egypt’s judicial system on his personal Twitter account, he is also accused of “spreading false information to discredit the state and its Institutions” against the backdrop of a tweet in which he said he did not receive a fair trial as part of the case of “Emirates 5”.
He was also accused of “spreading false information about the leaders and policies of the United Arab Emirates” against the backdrop of a tweet about the construction of a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. He was also accused of “communicating and cooperating with members of the banned “al-Islah” (reform) organization,” referring to visits and meetings with members of “Emirates 94” a group of human rights defenders and critics of the government. In addition to that he is accused of “communicating and collaborating with the banned “al-Umma” (the nation) Party”, on the backdrop of the talk he was invited to give on the Islamic economy by a member of the al-Umma Party as a professor of economics.
Nasser bin Ghaith al-Marri, is an academic who received his PhD in law, specialized in international trade and international economic law in 2007, from the UK, his home was stormed by members of the State Security Service and he was arrested from his workplace in 2011, among the members of the group known as ” UAE 5 “, and charged with” insulting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi “, against the backdrop of posts on some forums in case No. (313/2011 State Security), and sentenced in November 2011, and released after seven months in custody pending the case.
ANHRI called on the UAE authorities to drop the false accusations against Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith Al-Marri, which fall under the right to freedom of expression, and to put an end to the illegal practices committed by the executive authorities against writers, journalists and opinion holders.