Rights group calls for Osama AlNajjar's release
The Emirati authorities have recently transferred Mr. Osama Al-Najjar from the Al Wathba to the Al Rezin prison. According to the information received, the transfer was deliberate and aimed to impose more restrictions against Mr. Osama Al-Najjar. Indeed, the Al Rezin prison is known in the UAE for being overcrowded and for the cruelty and harshness of its officials who crackdown on the prisoners of conscience using various inhuman and degrading methods and through severely restricting their fundamental human rights as the right to receive family visits.
The International Center for Justice and Human Rights recalls that Mr. Osama Al-Najjar was arrested on March 17, 2014, for exposing on his twitter account the allegations of ill-treatment and the unfair trial his father, Mr. Hussein al-Najjar who was tried within the known case of the "UAE 94", was subjected to. Mr. Osama Al-Najjar’s trial, which did not comply international fair trial guarantees, took place on November 25, 2014 before the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court and the judge Mohammed Al Tenaiji. The judge sentenced Mr. Osama Al-Najjar to three years of imprisonment, a fine of Dh500,000, a confiscation of all his electronic devices and to take down all his social media accounts. The judgment is final and does not allow any appeal as it was pronounced by the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court.
Moreover, despite the international appeals and claims for his release, justified by Article 44 of the Federal Law on regulation penal institutions and Article 302 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1992, as he has now he has spent more than three-quarters of his sentence, the UAE authorities are still refusing to release Mr. Osama Al-Najjar.
Therefore, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights urges the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:
- Immediately and unconditionally release human rights activist and blogger Osama Al-Najjar as well as all the prisoners of conscience in the United Arab Emirates and refrain from imposing any restrictions on them.
- Comply with the International Standards for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment and other International Human Rights Declarations and stop violating the rights of prisoners and undermining their dignity as well as their humanity.
- Allow the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders as well as the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other International Human Rights Organizations to visit Emirati prisons and detention centers in order to inspect United Arab Emirates's commitment to the relevant international standards when dealing with the prisoners.