PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 25/005/2009
08 June 2009
UA 142/09 Incommunicado detention/Fear of torture or ill-treatment
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE) Khalil Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim al-Janahi (m), aged 38
Khalil Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim al-Janahi is being held in incommunicado detention without charge or trial
at an unknown location in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He was deported from Saudi Arabia
on 24 November 2008 and is believed to be held by members of Amn al-Dawla (State Security). Amnesty
International fears that he may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
Khalil Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim al-Janahi, a UAE national, was a student of Shari’a (Islamic) law in Saudi
Arabia. On 26 April 2007 he went to the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh to catch a plane to Bahrain where his
wife and other relatives live. He was arrested at passport control in the airport, and taken to ‘Ulaysha Prison in
Saudi Arabia where he was held incommunicado for four months. However, his family were eventually able to
visit him on several occasions, but neither they nor he were ever given the reasons for his detention. He was
not charged or tried and was not given access to legal assistance.
Several months later, on 24 November 2008, Khalil Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim al-Janahi was deported to
the UAE where he was immediately detained. He has been allowed to make brief calls to his wife in Bahrain
from his place of detention. Despite repeated queries by his relatives, the UAE authorities have refused to
allow them to visit him or to inform them of the reasons for his arrest and detention.
Political suspects in the UAE are commonly held incommunicado in undisclosed locations. Those arrested by
Amn al-Dawla are reportedly often kept in solitary confinement. A few political detainees have been allowed to
make brief and limited phone calls to their families. Political parties do not exist in the UAE; political dissent
is not tolerated and there are severe restrictions on freedom of expression and association. Websites have
been targeted for closure and their owners prosecuted for defamation. A draft Press Code was passed by the
country’s Federal National Council - a body of appointed parliamentarians- but rejected by the UAE’s
President following international pressure. For example, the code would institute heavy fines for “insulting”
specific members of the government. Permits are required for demonstrations but are rarely granted.
The use of torture of political detainees has been widely reported. Methods have included sleep deprivation,
suspension by the wrists or ankles followed by severe beatings to the soles of the feet and even the use of
electric shocks to various parts of the body.
The UN Human Rights Committee has commented that routine prolonged solitary confinement is inconsistent
with the obligation on states to ensure prisoners are treated with humanity and with respect for their inherent
dignity. (General comment 21/44, 6 April 1992).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English or your own
- expressing concern that Khalil Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim al-Janahi has been held incommunicado since
24 November 2008 at an unknown location;