UAE authorities continue to violate Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith’s right to a lawyer visit
The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) has learned that the administration of Al-Rezeen prison continues to harass Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, deprives him of necessary care for hunger strikers, and prevents him from any family or lawyer visits. In fact, the authorities refused the lawyer’s request to provide him with a copy of the court decision and denied his representation of Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith despite his appeal and pleading before the State Security. They also refused his request to visit his client in Al-Rezeen prison fearing that he would convince Dr. Bin Ghaith to exercise his right to appeal against the court judgment.
The ICJHR recalls that since his arrest in August 2015, the UAE authorities violated the rights and dignity of the academic and human rights activist Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith including his right to a fair trial. Besides, Dr. Bin Ghaith was also subjected to torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearance. Moreover, it must be reminded that on 29 March 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal, under the chairmanship of an Egyptian judge, sentenced him to ten years’ imprisonment for his post on Twitter considered by the UAE authorities as a source to disturb the relations between the State and the Egyptian government and an incitement to sedition, hatred, racism and sectarianism, which damages national unity and public order.
To protest against all these injustices, Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith decided on Sunday, 2 April 2017 to go on a hunger strike and announced his intention not to appeal against the above-mentioned sentence because of his lack of confidence in the justice of the Emirati judiciary.
Denying Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith the right to a lawyer visit is a clear violation to the right to a counsel visit as stipulated in Article 18 of the UAE Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions and the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment most importantly Principle 18 (1), which affirms that "A detained or imprisoned person shall be entitled to communicate and consult with his legal counsel ".