Dr. Naser Bin Ghaith's trial postponed to October 17
The UAE Supreme Court postponed the trial of Dr. Naser Bin Ghaith to October 17. He is a prisoner of conscience and faces charges relating solely to the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and association.
On 20 June Dr Nasser bin Ghaith, a prominent academic and economist, had his fourth trial session before the State Security Chamber of the Supreme Court. The court heard the testimonies of prosecution witnesses, including an officer from the State Security and another from the Department of Criminal Laboratory, tasked with examining electronic equipment. During a limited cross-examination of the witnesses Dr Nasser bin Ghaith’s lawyer was interrupted when he raised questions in relation to the charge of “communicating and co-operating with members of the banned al-Islah organization”.
This charge relates to meetings between Dr Nasser bin Ghaith, Dr Mohammed al-Roken, one of the “UAE 94”, and Amnesty International’s Secretary General in December 2011. The judge did not grant Dr Nasser bin Ghaith permission to speak in court and he has not been allowed to meet with his lawyer since the previous hearing on 23 May. In June Dr Nasser bin Ghaith was transferred to al-Sadr prison in Abu
The Prosecution attempted to draw a connection between Dr Nasser bin Ghaith and Hassan al-Doqqi, the Secretary General of the Emirates Ummah Party, who is on trial in the same case. This included an email sent by Hassan al-Doqqi to Dr Nasser bin Ghaith in 2012 asking him for advice prior to establishing the party, which, when questioned, one of the witnesses confirmed that Dr Nasser bin Ghaith had not responded to. No independent investigation into the allegations of enforced disappearance and torture and other ill-treatment made by Dr Nasser bin Ghaith at his first and second hearings has yet been initiated.