Open letter to members of the Federal National Council (FNC) calling for the release of Abdulla al-Hajri
RE: Free Abdulla al-Hajri
Dear members of the FNC,
We are writing to respectfully urge you to use your influence as members of the Emirati Parliament to ensure the release of Abdulla al-Hajri, who has been detained in al-Razeen prison since 2012. As you may know, he was scheduled for release on 16 July 2019, after serving his seven-year sentence, however, he remains behind bars to this day.
Instead of releasing him upon completion of his full prison term, the responsible authorities transferred him to a so-called “counseling center” within the al-Razeen prison complex. He is now being held indefinitely without any clarification regarding his new release date. As there has not been a formal judicial verdict ordering the extension of his sentence, he cannot file an appeal against the decision.
We would like to remind you that Abdulla al-Hajri is an Emirati university graduate and a former student leader who in 2011 signed the petition calling for democratic reform in the United Arab Emirates. After being arrested in July 2012, he was detained incommunicado in an undisclosed location for 8 months. He reported being subject to torture and ill-treatment including beatings and deprivation of bathroom use. He was then tried and sentenced to seven years in the notorious, unfair UAE94 mass trial alongside his brother Fahad al-Hajri and father-in-law the prominent human rights lawyer Dr Mohammed al-Roken.
We call on you, the UAE government, to end the practice of indefinite detention and to immediately release Abdulla al-Hajri and all other political prisoners convicted in the grossly unfair UAE 94 trial. Pending this, we implore you to grant him regular family and counsellor visits and to release an official communication regarding his new release date.
The International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE