CFUAE Demands Justice for Human Rights Activists Convicted at UAE94 Unfair Trial
On the third anniversary UAE94 trial, the International Campaign for Freedom in the United Arab Emirates (ICFUAE) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all Emirati political activists convicted at the unfair mass trial which was deeply flawed and was widely condemned by various human rights bodies and international human rights organisations.
The UAE 94 trial, which began on 4 March 2013 before the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, saw a total of 94 defendants, including eight who were charged and tried in absentia, stand trial en masse on the charge of legitimately exercising their rights to freedom of association and assembly.
On 2 July 2013, the court convicted 69 of the 94 defendants, including the eight tried in absentia and acquitted 25,ncluding all 13 women. The defendants included many prominent people from the fields of law, education and academia, business, and government advisers. The court sentenced the activists to prison terms of between seven and 15 years.
The UAE prosecution argued that the accused activists “established, founded, organised and administered the Al-Islah Movement (which had legally operated in the UAE since1974) with the aim of challenging the basic principles upon which the government of the State is based.
But the prosecution failed to provide credible evidence that the association had engaged in any acts that would constitute a criminal offence that was recognisable under international law.
According to Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association."
The UAE authorities made several commitments to protect and promote human rights, however, they continue to deny the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in the country.
The ICFUAE calls on the UAE government, a member of the UN Human Rights Council, to adhere to its obligations to uphold human rights at home, including respecting the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
ICFUAE also renews its call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those individuals detained or imprisoned for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association.
ICFUAE declares the start of a one-week electronic campaign to shed more light on #UAE94 trial and give a voice to the voiceless.