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ICFUAE | International Campaign For Freedom in the UAE

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Human Rights Watch: UAE holding prisoners beyond their release dates

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Human Rights Watch: UAE holding prisoners beyond their release dates

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the continued imprisonment of five Emirati prisoners who are yet to be released despite having served their sentences.

UAE authorities continue to hold at least five Emirati prisoners who completed their sentences between one and three years ago, Human Rights Watch said today.

Three of the men were sentenced to three years in prison and two to five years on state security charges following what appear to be unfair trials in 2014 and 2016.

In a press release, HRW identified the five prisoners as Osama al-Najjar, an online activist; Khalifa al-Rabea and Othman al-Shehhi, online activists and members of al-Islah, a nonviolent, legally registered Islamist political movement that the UAE banned in 2014 as “terrorist” in response to upheavals in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere; and Badr al-Buhairi and Ahmad al-Mulla, activists with ties to al-Islah.

“Denying detainees freedom for years past their completed sentences demonstrates brazen contempt of the rule of law,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These men all have lives and families to go back to and should not face the cruel and unlawful prospect of indefinite detention.”

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