Torture victim launches formal complaint against UAE
A Pakistani national has launched a legal battle against the UAE government over his arbitrary arrest and detention for more than a fortnight in UAE prison facilities where he was allegedly physically and sexually abused.
From October 2018, Muhammad Saad worked as a senior consultant for a consultancy project for Abu Dhabi ports, a state-owned company. A few months later, he submitted his resignation and shortly after, on 13 March 2019, he was arrested when he attempted to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the holy pilgrimage. The reason given for his arrest and detention is that he violated a travel ban imposed by his former Emirati employer, a travel ban that he was not aware of.
On detainment, Mr Saad claims to have been stripped of all communication to the outside world and thus was unable to gain access to a lawyer. Additionally, he was not shown any documentation of an arrest warrant nor informed as to why he was apprehended and deported to Pakistan. Whilst being detained arbitrarily, Muhammad claims to have been subject to physical torture and psychological abuse by police officers who molested him, “shackled and coerced him to perform sexual acts”.
His twenty-day detention in the UAE severely impacted his health, forcing him to seek medical help in Pakistan. Pakistani medical officials have subsequently reported that he suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, nerve damage from the physical abuse and neurological disorders which stem from extended maltreatment. Not only has this affected his health but also his academic and professional life as he is not able to accept multiple opportunities due to his ordeal in the UAE.
Due to these life disrupting effects of torture, Mr Saad is working with Pakistani authorities to lodge multiple complaints against the UAE government over his maltreatment and victimisation. Muhammad is now seeking formal financial compensation for his suffering and the subsequent loss of income.
As the UAE authorities have not provided any response to date, Mr Saad has taken his case to the Pakistani Foreign Office and the Ministry of Human Rights in order to launch an official investigation into his claims.