UAE: Jordanian journalist Taysir Salman detained for over four months due to Facebook post
Jordanian journalist Taysir Hasan Mahmoud Salman was supposed to fly from the United Arab Emirates, where he currently lives, to Jordan on vacation on 3 December 2015; however, he was prevented from boarding his flight by the airport authorities. Ten days later, on 13 December, Taysir Salman was contacted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Abu Dhabi, which requested him to go to their building to be informed of the reasons why he was not allowed to leave the country. Upon arrival, around 7pm, Taysir was arrested by members of the State Security Forces and taken to an unknown location.
He was detained incommunicado for over two months, until 18 February 2016, when he was first allowed to contact his family in Jordan and inform them he was detained at the Al Wathba prison, in Abu Dhabi. Until then, his whereabouts were unknown. During the phone call to his family, Taysir told them he believed he was detained due to a Facebook post he published in 2014, before moving to the United Arab Emirates, in which he criticised the UAE’s support for Egypt’s action in Gaza, as he was mainly interrogated about this post. Nevertheless, until now, Taysir Salman has not been officially charged and the reasons for his detention were not disclosed.
According to Taysir’s family, he was threatened and pressured by the detaining authorities in a way to force him to sign confessions. Furthermore, despite his current fragile health condition, he was denied medical care. After his arrest, Taysir’s family filed complaints about his detention to the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Amman and to the Journalists Syndicate, but to no avail.
Considering Taysir Salman’s detention arbitrary and concerned over his fate, Alkarama seized the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), calling upon it to urgently request the Emirati authorities to immediately release him and, should any criminal proceedings against him be initiated, that all confessions made under pressure or torture be disregarded.