Blogger Muawiya al Ruwahi warns of contemplating suicide
Omani blogger Muawiya Al Ruwahi, who has been held by Emirati authorities since February 2015 for having posted “offensive” messages, was brought before courts on November 9 and released a message warning of a possible hunger strike or suicide.
Muawiya was detained by authorities and has been prevented from leaving the country for over 8 months and despite a number of earlier court dates, was not able to receive his most recent hearing until November 9. At the hearing he released a message via social media saying that if he did not receive fair treatment he would begin a “hunger strike or commit suicide”.
Muawiya al Ruwahi suffers from bipolar disorder and has attempted suicide a number of times previously. In June 2015, whilst detained at al Wathba prison, his mother called for him to be given access to medication.
In his message he said that he was unable to “take any more” and had not received adequate medical attention whilst in detention. The judge has now ordered that he receive a psychiatric assessment and will be brought before the courts again on December 7.
The UAE have held him under the cyber crime law for having used social media platform Twitter to criticise the Emirates. The cyber crime law has been used by the authorities to censor a number of social media activists and commentators, with a number of social media users having found themselves in detention.
Muawiya’s latest message has caused great concern for his health and it is essential that he recieves adequate, independent medical attention.