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ICFUAE | International Campaign For Freedom in the UAE

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Former prisoner of conscience reveals brutal conditions of UAE jail

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3 weeks 1 day

Former prisoner of conscience reveals brutal conditions of UAE jail

The Jordanian journalist Tayseer al-Najjar, who was recently released from prison in the UAE, has described his three-year detention as a “nightmare”.

Najjar was arrested in December 2015 and charged with violating the UAE's cybercrime law after posting a series of Facebook comments criticising the UAE and other countries for their inaction during Israel's 2014 war on Gaza.

Writing for the al-Araby al-Jadid, al-Najjar exposed the unjust legal system which, he said, seeks to discriminate against non-UAE citizens, and described the brutal prison conditions he was forced to survive in.

In his article, al-Najjar recounts his time in prison as nothing short of “nightmare”, saying that it affected every aspect of his life.

“It was an experience I'll never forget”, he added.

Article 29 of the UAE’s cybercrime law criminalises the online publication of information that intends “to make sarcasm or damage the reputation, prestige or stature of the State or... any of its symbols". Those convicted can be sentenced to upwards of fifteen years in prison.

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