Document - United Arab Emirates (UAE): Further information on incommunicado detention/fear of torture or ill-treatment: new concern: unfair trial: 'Abdullah Sultan al-Subaihat (m)
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 25/003/2007
05 October 2007
Further Information on UA 54/07 (MDE 25/001/2007, 06 March 2007) Incommunicado detention/fear of torture or ill-treatment New concern: unfair trial
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE) 'Abdullah Sultan al-Subaihat (m), aged 46, agricultural engineer
On 1 October, ‘Abdullah Sultan al-Subaihat was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the UAE’s Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi. His trial was unfair and he claims he was tortured in detention. Verdicts issued by the Federal Supreme Court cannot be appealed.
‘Abdullah Sultan al-Subaihat was arrested on 8 February 2007 by Amn al-Dawla (State Security) officers in the Emirate of ‘Ajman where he lives and works. After months of incommunicado detention, he was charged with “obtaining secret information on state security” and appeared in court for the first time on 25 June. He was given access to a lawyer but a request to have him released on bail was denied. The court sessions were all reportedly held in secret and no family members were allowed to attend. During a court session on 10 September he was said to have complained that he had been tortured while detained by members of Amn al-Dawla. He claimed that the torture methods they used included being beaten by a hosepipe all over his body, sleep deprivation, being forced to carry a chair on his head every day for two weeks, and threats of sexual assault. The court reportedly did not order any investigation into the torture allegations.
‘Abdullah Sultan al-Subaihat is being detained at al-Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi and reportedly receives family visits once a week.
Political suspects in the UAE are commonly held incommunicado in undisclosed locations. Those arrested by the Amn al-Dawla are reportedly often kept in solitary confinement. One man, Salem al-Baloushi, was reportedly kept in solitary confinement for six years, from 1994 to 2000, when he was released without charge. A few political detainees have been allowed to make a limited number of brief phone calls to their families.
Many thanks to all in the UA network who took action on this case. Amnesty International is initiating longer-term campaigning action on behalf of ‘Abdullah Sultan al-Subaihat. Contact your section office for more information.