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naserb 06

International Centre for Justice and Human Rights

UAE Federal Appeal Court to deliver verdict on

Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith case tomorrow  

Geneva on March 28, 2017

Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith appeared before the Abu Dhabi Federal Court On 22 February 2017, where the judge scheduled a hearing for his verdict tomorrow i.e. on 29 March 2017. 

Dr. Bin Ghaith was tried on 22 February 2017 for crimes related to his exercise of the right to freedom of expression and association. To be more precise, several of charges against him are based on his peaceful exercise of free speech including, his Twitter post regarding critics of the Egyptian government, which was considered by the prosecution as “committing a hostile act against a foreign state” and “instigating against the UAE”, the crime carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment under the UAE Penal Code.   

Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith is an academic and prominent economist and activist who publicly advocated for political reform and human rights in the UAE. He was initially arrested by the Emirati authorities on 18 August 2015 without charge and forcibly disappeared for the following eight months. His whereabouts were completely unknown until he reappeared before the State Security Chamber of the Supreme Court in April 2016. 

On 18 May 2016, Dr. Bin Ghaith was transferred to Al-Sadr prison, where he was held in solitary confinement for two weeks and was not allowed to access a lawyer while family visits rarely took place throughout his detention and trial. The case of Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith reached the United Nations Special Procedures who inquired to the Emirati authorities about his situation. At the end of 2016, his case was transferred to the Appeal Court following the amendment of the Federal Law No. 11 of 2016.

During his detention, numerous reports claim that he was subject to torture and ill-treatment and his immediate medical treatment requests were often delayed or even denied. Dr. Bin Ghaith’s health conditions deteriorated.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) strongly condemns the human rights violations undertaken by the Emirati authorities against Dr. Bin Ghaith, an activist who merely exercised his fundamental right to freedom of expression and opinion which is universally recognized by various international human rights instruments.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) therefore calls upon the UAE government to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Bin Ghaith and conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture against him and hold those involved accountable for such charges.
  2. Provide Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and all other detainees with fair trial guarantees and most importantly with the presumption of innocence and exclude all the statements extracted under torture. 
  3. Ensure that legal protection and right to redress and remedy are effectively and efficiently provided to Dr. Bin Ghaith in practice.  


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