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Press Release

Human rights defender and Academic Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith

transferred from Al Razeen prison to an unknown location

Geneva on, August 21, 2017

The International Center for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) has been informed that the UAE authorities have deliberately transferred human rights defender and academic Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith from Al Razeen prison to an undisclosed location. In fact, Emirati officials refuse to disclose his whereabouts after being transferred from Al-Razeen in addition to the fact that they did not inform his family about his new detention place which would deprive him of the protection of the law and make him forcibly disappeared in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which the UAE authorities have not yet acceded.

Besides, Emirati officials continue to deprive Dr. Ben Ghaith from his right to have family visits since his entrance into a hunger strike on Sunday, April 2, 2017 in protest against the violations he was subjected to. It is a clear violation of Article 18 of UAE Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on regulating penal Institutions and principle No. 18 of the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

Dr Bin Ghaith was also prevented from his lawyer's visit and the authorities rejected his request to see a copy of the judicial ruling and denied his representation of Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith despite the fact that he has already appealed and pleaded him before Federal Supreme Court at the start of his trial. The lawyer was also prohibited from seeing Dr. Bin Ghaith at Al-Razeen prison in order to persuade him to appeal against the ruling of the Federal Court of Appeal.

The ICJHR recalls that Emirati authorities have constantly violated the rights of the academic and human rights defender Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and infringed his dignity and personal security and his right to a fair trial since his arrest in August 2015. In fact, he was subjected to torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearance and was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment by the Federal Court of Appeal under the presidency of an Egyptian judge on March 29, 2017 for publishing tweets on his personal Twitter account that were considered by the authorities as disturbing the good relations with the Egyptian state over the Internet and inciting to “sedition, hatred, racism, sectarianism and damaging the national unity and social peace."

The International Center for Justice and Human Rights calls on the Special Rapporteurs on torture, human rights defenders and the independence of the judiciary to urgently intervene with the UAE government to reveal Dr. Bin ghaith’s whereabouts after he was transferred from Al-Razeen Prison and to allow his family and lawyer to visit him and urges the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:

  1. Disclose the whereabouts of Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith and immediately allow his family and lawyer to visit him and unconditionally release him as well as desist from violating his rights and depriving him of his dignity and humanity.
  2. Open a serious and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture, ill-treatment, and enforced disappearance that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith was subjected to inside the prison and hold those responsible accountable and give him his full right of reparation and rehabilitation.
  3. Allow the UN Special Rapporteurs, UN special procedures, human rights organizations and other international human rights mechanisms to visit Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and other political prisoners, legal activists and bloggers and examine their condition of detention and document their rights violations.

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