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Emirati prisoner of conscience Nasser Bin Ghaith endures over 50 days on hunger strike

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3 months 3 weeks

Emirati prisoner of conscience Nasser Bin Ghaith endures over 50 days on hunger strike

The health of the prominent Emirati economist and rights activist Nasser Bin Ghaith is said to be deteriorating rapidly as he passes the 50-day point of his open-ended hunger strike in UAE’s al-Razeen prison.

On 25 Feb 18, bin Ghaith - who is currently serving a 10-year sentence for comments on Twitter - launched an open-ended hunger strike in response to his ill-treatment at UAE’s al-Razeen prison, which is a maximum-security facility holding predominantly government critics. In recent years, the prison has become notorious for its repressive conditions, with inmates regularly reporting instances of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of warders.

In retaliation to his strike, Emirati authorities have subjected bin Ghaith to solitary confinement and denied him all contact with his family.

Now over 50 days into the strike, there are serious concerns about the academic’s health which, according to rights groups, is feared to have rapidly deteriorated in recent weeks. The Geneva-based International Campaign for Justice and Human Rights have reported that his is suffering from fatigue, severe hypoglycaemia and high blood pressure.

This is not the first time Bin Ghaith has gone on hunger strike. Shortly following his sentencing in April of last year, he endured over 40 days without food in protest at his initial conviction.

On March 29, 2017, Bin Ghaith was sentenced to 10 years in prison for tweets that criticised the Emirati regime’s human rights record. In response, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch launched campaigns demanding his immediate release.  

ICFUAE stand in complete solidarity with Nasser bin Ghaith and reiterate our call for his immediate and unconditional release. Pending this, however, we urgently call upon the Emirati authorities to adhere to the UN's Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which affords basic rights for prisoners such as access to adequate access to medical care, food and other amenities. As well as this, the UAE authorities must allow UN working bodies access to al-Razeen prison to inspect conditions; a request which they have denied on numerous occasions.

 

ENDS

  1. For more information, press queries or comment, please contact the ICFUAE team at joe@icfuae.org.uk or +44 7979 6666 98
  2. For more information on bin Ghaith’s strike, please see http://www.ic4jhr.org/en/activites/urgent-actions/868-uae-dr-nasser-ben-ghaith-goes-on-a-hunger-strike-2.htm

http://www.ic4jhr.org/en/2014-11-30-18-36-45/media/894-the-icjhr-calls-sorbonne-university-for-solidarity-with-dr-nasser-ben-ghaith.html

  1. For more information on bin Ghaith’s case, please see

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/03/uae-prominent-academic-jailed-for-10-years-over-tweets-in-outrageous-blow-to-freedom-of-expression/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/dr-naser-bin-ghaith-uae-economist-who-criticised-government-disappears-after-arrest-a6730616.html

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