29 NGOs and Human Rights Experts Call for the Immediate Release of Prominent Lawyer Mohamed al-Roken
Today, a day before the inauguration of the World Tolerance Summit, the ICFUAE became one of 29 signatories to support an open letter calling on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to immediately and unconditionally release prominent human rights defender Dr Mohammed Al-Roken, arbitrarily detained in the UAE since 2012 solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association, including through his work as a human rights lawyer.
Al-Roken has dedicated his life to the protection of human rights, a fact that was duly recognised in 2017 as he was awarded the Ludovic Trarieaux Award International Human Rights Prize. He was awarded this in absentia, however. In 2013, Al-Roken was sentenced to ten years imprisonment as a member of the UAE 94 for seeking piecemeal democratic reform. Denied his right to appeal, al-Roken has subsequently been subject to solitary confinement and forms of torutre, including ‘music torture’ in Abu Dhabi’s notorious Al-Razeen prison.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken dedicated his life to defending the fundamental liberties of his people, representing those who have fallen victim to human rights abuses by their own government.
His 2012 imprisonment came as an act of direct reprisal against his work and activism.
As long as Mohammed Al-Roken remains imprisoned, a grave injustice continues to stand. While the UAE is preparing for the start of the World Tolerance Summit tomorrow, we ask the government to answer how they can speak of tolerance while a brave man is imprisoned solely for exercising his right to free expression and fighting for justice. Surely, at its core, the meaning of tolerance is to respect and allow a diversity of opinion.