UAE Rights Groups Pleads For Holiday Prisoner Release

A United Arab Emirates human rights group has asked the government to release detainees who have not been charged with crimes for the coming Eid al-Adha holiday, reports Shafiq al-Asadi. The government-sanctioned human rights group also criticized external rights groups that have questioned the UAE’s record.

al-monitor A United Arab Emirates flag waves in front of a big poster of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan in Abu Dhabi, Dec. 15, 2009. Photo by REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah.

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uae, prisoners, gulf

Oct 25, 2012

Abdul-Ghaffar Hussein, head of the UAE Human Rights Association (EHRA), appealed to UAE officials “to release detainees who have not been found in investigations to be involved in campaigns that harm the nation or threaten its security and safety, on the occasion of the blessed Hajj season and the Eid al-Adha.”

Hussein also called on the head of the Federal Public Prosecution to “end the interrogation of detainees as soon as possible and bring the detainees to trial, because the prolonged detention is raising concern and doubts.”

In a news conference held on Tuesday [Oct. 23] evening at the EHRA headquarters in Dubai — in the presence of Secretary-General of the Arab Organization for Human Rights Alaa Shalaby (Egypt) and his companions Maha Barjas (Kuwait) and Rasim al-Atassi (Syria) — Hussein questioned “the negative reports filed by representatives of human rights organizations who visit the UAE periodically.”

He stressed that “most do not reflect the reality, especially those saying that the detainees [had practiced] unauthorized activities and are being subjected to physical torture, verbal abuse and mistreatment by the security services in the UAE.”

Hussein added, “I have assured my counterparts that mistreatment, whether through physical torture or something else, does not and will not have a place in the ethics of the Emiratis, both officials and non-officials.”

Dr. Abdul Rahim al-Awadi, assistant foreign minister for legal affairs, said that the detainees “are in the custody of the Federal Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi and its branches, and are not being held by the security services. The prosecution — as is well known — is of the judiciary, and it is unlikely that the judiciary would subject a suspect to abuse.”

UAE official sources have said that 64 persons were arrested on charges of “having links with foreign groups and countries that threaten the security of the UAE,” promising to provide them with fair trials.

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