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what do you think about the UPR recommendations to the United Arab Emirates?

BIN GAITH WEB

Geneva, 6 March 2018


The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights has learned that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith announced his decision to go on a hunger strike onSunday, 25 February 2018, in protest against his ill-treatment by Al-Razeen prison authorities.


In fact, this is not the first time that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith announced his entry into a hunger strike. On April 2, 2017, he also went on a hunger strike and issued a statement to the public from Al-Razeen prison, in which he affirmed his innocence and stated that his trial was an unfair one, affecting his right to freedom of opinion and expression especially since it was carried out by an Egyptian judge who is considered biased. He also announced his rejection of the ruling, his decision not to appeal it and to go, instead, on a hunger strike, thus starting the battle for his freedom in addition to the fact that he asked the UAE authorities to release him and allow him together with his family to leave the country.


Instead of considering his demands, the administration of Al-Razeen prison has further harassed Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith and violated all his rights following his hunger strike in April 2017 and his decision not to appeal the sentence. He was pressured and prevented from any visit or communication and his place of detention remained unknown for more than six months. He was also put in a cold room without any blanket until he stopped the hunger strike, in addition to the fact that his lawyer was prevented from communicating with him in order to persuade him to appeal the verdict.


We recall that the Federal Court of Appeal s unjustly issued its verdict on March 29, 2017 delivered by an Egyptian judge, sentencing Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith to 10 years imprisonment because of a post on his Twitter account @bin_ghaith, in which he criticized the human rights violations made by the Egyptian government.The UAE authorities considered this as disturbing the good relations with the Egyptian state via the Internet and provoking sedition, hatred, racism as well as sectarianism. They also believed that this damaged the national unity and social peace, in addition to the fact that Dr. Bin Ghaith did not have the necessary guarantees to defend self.


The ICJHR reminds that this is not the first time that the prison administration have abused academic and human rights activist Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith. Indeed, Al-Razeen prison authorities have deliberately deprived him of his high blood pressure medicationand did not provide him with proper medical care since he suffers from health problems due to enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment as well as imprisonment in solitary confinement in violation of the international minimum standards of detention and federal law on penal institutions.


The ICJHR holds the authorities of the UAE and the administration of Al-Razeen prison responsible in the case that Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith’s health deteriorates due to the lack of appropriate medical follow-up for the hunger strikes according to the Malta Declaration of the World Medical Association in 1991.


The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights calls upon the UN Special Rapporteurs on the protection of human rights defenders, freedom of opinion and expression, torture and ill-treatment as well as the UN working groups and human rights organizations to put pressure on the authorities of the UAE in order to release Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, and desist from violating his rights and the rights of other prisoners in Al-Razeen Prison and other Emirati jails, which are guaranteed by the Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.


The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights also urges the authorities of the UAE to:

  1. Take full responsibility forthe hunger strike and the health deterioration of the prisoner of conscience Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith detained in Al-Razeen prison.
  2. Conduct a prompt and serious investigation by an independent body regarding the allegations of torture and ill-treatment that have affected the dignity and physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, and hold accountable all those responsible forthese violations in order to prevent them from impunity and punishment and give Dr. Bin Ghaith his full right to redress, reparation and rehabilitation.