Letter to the UAE ambassador in London
Dear Mr. Abulhoul,
The holiday season is fast approaching, bringing with it a spirit of generosity and the opportunity to help others. With this in mind, we urge you to use your influence to put an end to the practice of indefinite detention in the UAE. While many people around the world will be enjoying the festivities with family and friends, many prisoners in the UAE will remain behind bars after their sentences have expired.
Their ongoing detention violates the UAE’s own laws regarding fair trials and is a breach of international human rights norms. Article 13 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights 2004 clearly states that ‘Everybody has the right to a fair trial in which sufficient guarantees are ensured, conducted by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law, in judging the grounds of criminal charges brought against him or in determining his rights and obligations’.
It is understood that, most recently, Abdallah Ali Alhajery, Oman Alharethy and Mahmoud Alhoseny were due for release on 16 July after completion of their 7 year prison sentences. However, they continue to be detained in Abu Dhabi’s Al Razeen prison joining eight other prisoners whose sentences had expired earlier: Ahmed Almolla, Faysal, Othman and Abdelwaheed Elshohy, Said Elbrimy, Abdallah El Helw, Mansour Al Ahmady and Kalifa Rabiaa. These prisoners’ detention has been extended indefinitely under the UAE’s Counter Terrorism Law with the pretence that they require “counseling” before being released into society. There is, however, no evidence to suggest that these detainees pose an actual terrorist threat to the state.
As there is no trial proceeding their additional detention, those detained indefinitely cannot appeal any sentence, leaving them without a legal remedy.
Furthermore, prisoners held in Al Razeen prison have consistently reported inhumane living conditions, as well as the use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment by prison warders.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, has proclaimed 2019 to be the ‘Year of Tolerance’.The gross human rights violations committed by the UAE authorities are diametrically opposed to the notion of tolerance being preached.
We, therefore, urge you to put a halt to the arbitrary detention of prisoners and the mistreatment in complete contravention of the international standards of tolerance.
The International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE