UAE must release the group of political prisoners known as the "UAE 94"
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ministry of Interior 1st Street, W 56 - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates email@example.com
RE: UAE MUST RELEASE THE GROUP OF POLITICAL PRISONERS KNOWN AS THE “UAE 94”
With the 7-year anniversary of the “UAE 94” trial approaching, we write to you, the UAE Minister of Interior, to call for the immediate release of all those convicted as part of that grossly unfair mass trial.
You may be aware that the UAE 94 trial has been widely criticised by global human rights organisations for its breaches of international fair trial standards as well as for the security forces’ use of tourture during interrogations.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the tribunal was not considered independent and that the judge ignored numerous allegations of torture voiced by defendents during the trial. In the months leading up to the proceedings, some defendants, including leading human rights lawyer Dr Mohammed Al-Roken, were subjected to enforced disappearances and held incommunicado in an undisclosed location where they were subjected to torture and inhumane and degrading treatment. During this time, many of them were forced to make “confessions'' under duress, which were later used as evidence in court. The majority of defendants were also denied legal aid including access to a lawyer before the trial.
Emirati authorities also refused to grant independent observers and international media access to the proceedings, whilst also attempting to silence relatives of defendants who published information on the trial on social media.
Furthermore, those convicted were denied the right to appeal their sentence.
We would also like to urgently reiterate our concerns for the five UAE 94 prisoners who have completed their 7-year sentences and should have been released by now. Abdulla al-Hajri, Omran Al-Harethy, Mahmoud Al-Hoseny and Mansour Al-Ahmady were all due for release on 16 July 2019, and Fahad Al-Hajri’s sentence ended on 20 March 2020, however they remain behind bars without any legal basis.
In light of the aforementioned ongoing injustices, which pose a threat to the UAE’s global reputation, we urge you as Minister of Interior, a role that bears responsibility over policing and homeland security, to take the necessary steps to secure the unconditional release of the UAE 94.
The International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE