UAE: Extending the imprisonment term of Al-Mulla, Al-Bahri and Al Helou and transferring them to a counseling center
The authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have arbitrarily extended the detention of Ahmed Mohamed Al-Mulla, Badr Al-Bahri and Abdullah Al-Helou, and put them in a counseling center according to Article 66 of Federal Law No. (7) of 2014 on Combating Terrorism Offences, claiming that they represent a "danger to the State". Furthermore, the three prisoners of conscience will be referred to and appeared before the court again in a month. It is important to note that despite having fully completed their imprisonment sentence on 22 April 2017, the detainees are not yet released.
On June 13, 2016, the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court sentenced Ahmed Mohamed Al-Mulla, Badr Al-Bahri and Abdullah Al-Helou to three years’ imprisonment for establishing a branch of "the Muslim Brotherhood" and collecting donations and funds without prior authorization from the competent authority. It must be further noted that their right to a fair trial was not guaranteed.
The three activists were arrested on April 22, 2014 by the Emirati authorities following a search of their houses. They were handcuffed in front of their wives, children and relatives before being taken to an unknown location, where they were subjected to enforced disappearance and violation of their rights which are guaranteed by the UAE Constitution and international standards.
The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) has documented the cases of the three activists in collaboration with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding their rights violation including deprivation of family and lawyers visits, denial of their right to a fair trial as well as their exposure to enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention.
The ICJHR denounces the arbitrary detention extension of Ahmed Mohamed Al-Mulla, Badr Al-Bahri and Abdullah Al-Helou, their transfer to a counseling center as well as their prevention from appealing the violation of their right to liberty. This demonstrates the deliberate misuse of counter-terrorism and the right to peaceful organization by the UAE authorities to further persecute human rights activists and restrict their rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Emirati Constitution as well as other international treaties.