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ICFUAE | International Campaign For Freedom in the UAE

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Appeal case: Mohamed al-Roken

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1 year 7 months

Appeal case: Mohamed al-Roken

Dr Mohammed al-Roken is a prominent academic, a former professor of constitutional law, and human rights lawyer. State Security officials arrested him on 17 July 2012. On 2 July 2013, the highest court of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sentenced him to a 10- year prison sentence following an unfair, mass trial of 94 activists. It became widely known as the “UAE 94” trial.

Amnesty International considers Mohammed al-Roken, who is from Dubai, a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association, including his work as a human rights lawyer. Amnesty International calls for his immediate and unconditional release. For around two decades before his imprisonment, human rights groups, including Amnesty International, frequently called upon Mohammed al-Roken, who is from Dubai, for analysis and expertise they used to inform their work on the UAE and other Gulf countries. He was among 69 people, out of the 94 tried, including other lawyers, judges, academics, students

This appeal is based on the information set out in: Amnesty International, ‘There is no freedom here’: Silencing dissent in the United and activists, who were unfairly sentenced to between seven and 15 years’ imprisonment by the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi in July 2013. The case became known as the “UAE 94” case. 

The convictions were a turning point in the UAE’s massive crackdown on freedom of expression and association. It signalled the UAE’s intent to silence calls for democratic reform: the court convicted the 69 on charges of establishing an organization aimed at bringing about the overthrow of the government. Gross flaws in the court’s procedures made it impossible for independent experts to discern who may have truly represented a threat to public order. Most appeared to have been imprisoned in connection with whom they associated and the peaceful expression of their views. It was the UAE’s biggest politically motivated trial for decades, if not ever.

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