UAE detaining prisoners of conscience indefinitely beyond their release dates
The Emirati authorities are refusing to release prisoners of conscience at the end of their sentences.
It has emerged that at least nine inmates are being detained indefinitely in the UAE with little sign of release. The sentences of Osama al-Najjar, Badr al-Bahri, Ahmed Almolla, Faysal, Othman and Abdelwaheed Elshoh, Abdullah Elhelw, Said Elbrimy and Kalifa Rabiaa all finished some time ago. However, instead of being released they were moved to a so-called counselling centre inside the al-Razeen prison facility.
As there is no trial proceeding this form of detention, those transferred to such facilities can be held indefinitely with the government - rather than the judiciary - handing down punishment. This type of administrative detention grossly violates international standards of due process.
The UAE authorities claim the purpose of such centres is to guide and reform those convicted of terrorist offences. However, the above cases, where none were convicted of terrorism, suggests conselling centres are instead being used to silence political dissidents.
The sentences of a number of other prisoners of conscience are due to expire in the coming months. Yet it remains unclear whether they will actually be released.