ICFUAE Newsletter #8 – The Latest Campaign News from the UAE
The International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE supports political activism and democratic reform in the UAE. We follow all developments in the UAE and bring you the latest updates in our newsletter.
#CloseAlRazeenPrison – animated video gives insight into Emirati prison
The #ClosealRazeenPrison video highlights the ill-treatment and torture of prisoners in the Al Razeen prison.
Al Razeen Prison is often referred to as the Guantanamo prison of the UAE. It detains mostly political prisoners and has been used extensively since the UAE94 trials, which led to the imprisonment of social and political activists who campaigned for reform in the country by submitting a petition to the ruling authorities.
Al Razeen prison is 100 km from Abu Dhabi and currently holds an estimated 100 inmates. In 2012 the UAE authorities appeared to have updated the conditions in the prison, the Prime Minister went to inspect the conditions and declared them to be safe. Despite this there remains serious concern about the conditions of the prison and the inmates. A number of the prisoners in being held there are those convicted during the UAE 94 trial. Whilst the prisoners remain there and the prison remains open the UAE authorities are continuing to breach international law and their own laws, the prisoners are not being held in line with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
Read more here
UK Government should use influence to press UAE on human rights concerns
At a meeting in the House of Commons, in the run up to International Human Rights Day, speakers from a range of organisations called on the UK government to use their influence to press the UAE to take action on human rights concerns in the Gulf state.
In the House of Commons, Ahmed Mansoor UAE human rights activist spoke to a meeting via Skype alongside Harriet McCulloch (Reprieve) and Andrew Smith (Campaigns Against Arms Trade – CAAT). Mansoor addressed the meeting via Skype, because as Andy Slaughter MP, shadow minister for Human Rights noted, Mansoor has been banned from travelling by the Emirati authorities.
Ahmed Mansoor told Parliament in his address that there needed to be greater pressure exerted on the UAE in order to improve the human rights situation in the country. Mansoor called on the UK government to exert pressure in public and private and use its influence to press the UAE to respect human rights in the country.
Further disappearances in the UAE
Three siblings whose father was killed in Syria, have been arrested by the UAE authorities and disappeared. The 3 children of Mohamed Ahmed Abdouly were arrested in the Emirate of Fujairah. Abdouly died in 2013 in Raqqa in Syria, where he was part of the Syrian rebel group, Ahrar al Sham fighting against Assad forces.
The two sisters, Amina Mohammed Abdouly, 33 and Moza Mohammed Abdouly, 18 and their brother Mohammed Musab Abdouly, 25 were arrested by the security forces after their house was reportedly searched and ransacked by the security forces without a warrant.
This latest case is reminiscent of the three Suwaidi sisters who were arrested and disappeared for 3 months for calling for their release of their brother. In the UAE enforced disappearances have become commonplace. In August 2015 prominent economist Dr Nasser bin Ghaith was taken into detention by the security forces and has been disappeared for over 3 months. Enforced disappearances are a worrying trend in the UAE and given the use of torture in prisons and detention facilities in the UAE, there is real concern about the situation facing detainees.
Emirati exile remains separated from his disabled son
Ahmed Alnuaimi, an Emirati activist exiled in the UK, has told the Independent that he remains separated from his son, Mohammed Alnuaimi who suffers from cerebal palsy. Mohammed remains stuck in the UAE being cared for by his relatives, despite concerns that his mental and physical health are deteriorating.
Ahmed Alnuaimi was forced into exile after the repressive crackdown by Emirati authorities in 2012, which culminated in the UAE94 case. Ahmed was sentenced in absentia to 15 years. Stuck outside the UAE and unable to return, his wife and 4 other children were able to eventually join him in the UK. However, Mohammed’s serious health conditions meant that his family were unable to take him with them. With Ahmed unable to return to the UAE he has been separated from his son since 2012 but has vowed to be reunited with him.
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