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ادارة المؤسسة العقابية في الامارات

Geneva, 19 October 2015

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) has been informed that the Emirati authorities have unlawfully extended the sentence of the Syrian national, Omar Ahmed Al Dabagh (30 years), who is kept behind bars at AL Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi. This clear case of arbitrary detention is a breach of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We have also been informed that authorities are now investigating as he is suspected of financing a terrorist organization, which is an erroneous accusation according to the informationwe have received.

Since his arrest onJune 25, 2014, Al Dabagh’s family did not receive any news or information about Omar’s whereabouts despite the several attempts to inquire at Abu Dhabi police office. In fact, in December 2014, he was tried before the Federal Supreme Court and was sentenced to 6 months in prison and extradition. His family members, who attended the trial, claimed that Omar was not present at the beginning of the trial and officers brought him for a short time only to be heard.

It is worth noting that authorities have released Mahmoud Al Soufi and Mohamed Al Tanji and extradited the first, who were involved in the same case, only one month after the trial, except Omar who remained in enforced disappearance from June 2014, the date of his arrest, until December 2014. Besides, Emirati authorities have denied access to all information about his place of detention, hence the family could not contact him or hire a lawyer to defend him, which is a clear violation to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, particularly Article 18, that guarantees to relatives of the person deprived of liberty, their representatives or their counsel the right to access chief information, such as the reason of his detention, his health condition…etc. After all attempts have failed to know more about Omar, he called his family , in March 2015, and told them he was in Al Wathba prison and that visits are allowed.

The ICJHR condemns the unfair and illegitimate practices of the Emirati authorities such as arbitrary detention without clear reasons or specific accusations and urges them to:

  1. Immediately release Omar Al Dabagh as he has served his sentence.
  2. Provide clear reasons for his detention and real evidences for accusing him, if they do exist.
  3. Refrain from the policy of arbitrary detention and detention in secret locations, which is considered as obvious treatment that breaches not only the Emirati constitution but also all international treaties and conventions.
  4. Refrain from using the Anti- terrorism law as pretext to mask repression and human rights violations in the UAE.

For more information on human rights in the UAE:

Website: www.ic4jhr.org

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Twitter: @icjahr