UAE fail to release more prisoners on the completion of their sentences
The UAE authorities refused to release three more political prisoners whose sentences expired earlier this week, taking the total of detainees being held indefinitely in the country up to twelve.
Abdallah Ali Alhajery, Omran Alharethy and Mahmoud Alhoseny, all initially sentenced to 7 years in prison on security charges, were due for release on Tuesday, 16 July. Yet, they continue to be held at Abu Dhabi’s al-Razeen prison, without due process or the right to an appeal.
They join nine other prisoners who are being indefinitely detained at Abu Dhabi’s maximum security facility. 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 freed, they were moved to a so-called counselling centre inside the al-Razeen prison facility.
It is not yet clear whether the latest detainees have been transferred to such a 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.
We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those being held indefinitely at al-Razeen prison. By continuing to hold these prisoners, the UAE are not only violating international legislation but their laws regarding indefinite detention. These cases reaffirm, yet again, the urgent need for an independent judiciary in the UAE, which is immune to interference from the government.