UIA launches new campaign to obtain the immediate release of Mohammed al-Roken
The International Association of Lawyers (UIA) launched an international campaign calling for the release of the Emirati lawyer, Mohammed al-Roken, who was the recipient of the 2017 Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize.
Mohammed al-Roken is a lawyer who is deeply committed to the cause of human rights and the rule of law in the United Arab Emirates. He was a prominent member of the UIA, where, as Vice President of the UAE National Committee, he drew attention to the obstacles facing the rule of law and the difficulties encountered by his fellow lawyers in the UAE. He also held positions at Amnesty International for more than twenty years.
Mohammed al-Roken was arrested on July 17, 2012 during a series of mass arrests of human rights activists, judges, intellectuals and student community leaders. These arrests followed a petition that called for reforms to bring greater democratisation to the UAE.
On July 2, 2013, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, including a 3-year probation period, because he created an organisation allegedly designed to overthrow the government. He also is prohibited from practising law.
Mohammed al-Roken was tortured and deprived of the right to an effective defence. Independent observers were not able to be present at his hearings. He has always denied the charges made against him.
No human rights advocate should be detained or imprisoned due to the peaceful exercise of his or her rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association, UIA said in its statement.
The detention of Mohammed al-Roken is incompatible with the United Arab Emirates’ responsibilities and commitments as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the statement reads.
The UIA concluded by calling on the international legal community to condemn the injustice of Mohammed al-Roken’s incarceration.
For more information about the UIA campaign: http://www.uianet.org/en/content/join-campaign-obtain-immediate-and-unco...