British National Detained Without Charge for Six Months in UAE
Christian Wilke, a dual British and German national, has been detained in the UAE without charge for nearly six months.
Christian was denied access to a lawyer and contact with his family for 52 days after his detention, and his health has deteriorated significantly. Since his detention, he has lost 18 kilos of weight, developed pneumonia and been denied access to adequate medical care.
It is also alleged that he has been subjected to sleep deprivation by prison wardens, with the light being kept on non-stop for four weeks during pre-trial detention.
The petition suggests that his arrest could be due to a Facebook post, stating: “Christian mentioned “electronic insults” and says this "could be something like sharing the wrong post on Facebook.”
In an interview with the German press, his mother said that on a phone call he told her:
'"I look like a shadow," he said. "Mom, you will not recognize me." He keeps falling over, he says, getting almost nothing to eat. He begged me, "Mom, get me out of here, I can not anymore, every day counts for me." He always implores me, but what should I do?'
Since the institution of the cybercrime law in 2012, scores of people in the UAE have been detained by authorities for comments made on social media platforms. In 2016 alone, around 300 people were detained as a result of their online such activity.
The change.org petition, a campaigning website currently banned in UAE, has so far garnered over 200,000 signatories in little over a week since its launch.
For more information, press queries or comment, please contact the ICFUAE team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07979666698
For the petition, please see https://www.change.org/p/please-release-my-son-from-uae-prison-freechristian-hhshkmohd