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خليفة النعيمي

Geneva, August 24, 2015

The International Center for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) was informed that two of prisoners of conscience, Khalifa Al-Nuaimi and Ali Al-Khaja, were subjected to harsh punishment as they have been placed in solitary confinement since Sunday, 23rd August. This decision succeeded their appearance before the general attorney, and the reason behind this punishment is likely due to their demands related to their rights as prisoners of conscience.

It is also known that every prisoner who protests against prison’s condition or asks for improvements or for his rights is very often subjected to such punishment. The ICJHR has previously condemned such practices that contravened human rights and that are considered as a form of torture and inhuman abusive treatment .

Khalifa Al-Nuaimi is one of the “UAE 94” prisoners. He was sentenced to 10 years of prison because he had signed a reformist petition that required the election of a full capacity national council. Besides, authorities of Rezin prison have previously put him in solitary confinement, in March 2014, in a very small concrete cell lacking a bed and a chair; they have also deprived him of food for 24 hours without reasons. Moreover, Al- Nuaimi was beaten and had visible bruises on his entire body. Yet, we don't have further information related to his solitary confinement at this time.

Ali Al-Khaja is also among the “UAE 94” group of prisoners and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison because of his reformist ideas.

The ICJHR recalls that the United Arab Emirates has ratified the Convention against Torture in 2012, which defines torture as: “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental” and solitary confinement may cause severe damages to the mental as well as physical health.

The ICJHR condemns these inhuman punishments and demands the UAE authorities to:

  1. Release Khalifa Al-Nuaimi and Ali –Alkhaja from solitary confinement
  2. Respect its international obligations as well as the Convention against Torture and stop systematic physical and mental torture inside Emiratis prisons
  3. unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience
  4. Guarantee the fundamental rights of all prisoners and refrain from punishments as a form of revenge against individuals who ask for social or political reforms.

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