Wife of Emirati Prisoner of Conscience Launches Cry for Help
The wife of Abdul Salam Darwish, an Emirati prisoner of conscience, has taken to Twitter to call on the UAE's President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and his Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to intervene in his case and secure his release from al-Razeen prison.
Darwish was arrested and subjected to an enforced disappearance on July 24, 2012 for signing the 2011 reform petition urging the president of the UAE to allow direct elections and grant legislative powers to parliament. During his time in detention, he was subjected to torture during interrogation. He was later tried within the notorious “UAE 94” case and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Darwish was also arbitrarily stripped of his citizenship along with his family.
"I urge Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, may God protect them, to free my husband and father of my children Abdul Salam Darwish who is unfairly jailed for ten years in Al-Razeen Prison and to return to his children and family responsibilities," his wife tweeted.
In another series of tweets, she expressed the suffering she and her children are experiencing after being arbitrarily stripped of their Emirati citizenship.
"I urge Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, may God protect them, to hold accountable those responsible for stopping the treatment of my sick children despite their difficult health situation."
"I urge Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, may God protect them, to hold accountable those responsible for stopping my husband's pension after serving his country for 20 years, leaving their children without any income."
In their yearly report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also raised concerns over the UAE authorities' systematic harassment of dissidents’ families, having documented the targeting of relatives of eight UAE dissidents.