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International Centre for Justice and Human Rights

UAE: Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith goes on a hunger strike until his release

Geneva, 21 April 2017
Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith has issued an open statement from his prison in Al-Sadr in which he enumerated various rights violations which affect his dignity and personal safety including the violation of his right to a fair trial. He has also criticized the unfair verdict issued by the Federal Court of Appeal to imprison him for ten years over a post considered by the UAE authorities as a source to disturb the relations between the State and the Egyptian government. He further condemned that the court trial was headed by an Egyptian judge.

At the end of his statement, he declared his decision not to appeal against the ten years of imprisonment judgment issued by the Federal Court of Appeal and his intention to, under the forced circumstance, go on an open hunger strike starting from Sunday, 2 April 2017.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) therefore stands for Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and expresses full solidarity with him after monitoring serious violations that have affected Dr. Bin Ghaith along with many other prisoners of conscience, political prisoners and bloggers.

The ICJHR indeed understands Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith’s decision not to appeal the verdict of sentencing him to ten years’ imprisonment over a post since there is no real guarantee for a fair trial or for an independent and impartial judiciary as affirmed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.

The ICJHR expresses deep regret about Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith’s intention to go on a hunger strike after he despaired of the UAE authorities and the Emirati judiciary to give him justice and full rehabilitation and to open an investigation into the allegations of torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and unfair trial he has been subject to.

Furthermore, the ICJHR holds the UAE authorities responsible for any health deterioration of Dr. Bin Ghaith as a consequence of the hunger strike and calls them on to provide him with necessary health care and not to use his decision to go on a hunger strike to further sanction him.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) therefore urges the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally, release the academic, economic expert and human rights defender Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and other political opponents and human rights defenders and stop violating their rights which affects their dignity and humanity.
  2. Open a serious and impartial investigation into the exposure of Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith to torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearance and hold accountable every person responsible for these violations and ensure Dr. Bin Ghaith his full rights to remedy and rehabilitation.

The ICJHR also calls upon the UN Special Rapporteurs on torture, on human rights defenders and on the independence of the judiciary to urgently  intervene with the UAE government in order to release Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and all other detainees of conscience.


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