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UAE: Release Prisoners of conscience NOW!

Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix 2018

Since 2011, scores of prisoners of conscience, including human rights defenders, are held and serving lengthy prison sentences after unfair trials for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.

The Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand-Prix race is taking place between 23 and 25 November. The UAE authorities are glitzing it up yet again, having succeeded in silencing critics and human rights defenders, and in total disregard for their international human rights obligations.

We are calling on the UAE government to end its continuing use of harassment, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment, and unfair trials against activists, human rights defenders and those critical of the authorities, and its use of national security as a pretext to crackdown on peaceful activism and to stifle calls for reform.

Now is the time to take action and to call on the UAE to release prisoners of conscience, including Ahmed Mansoor, Dr Mohammed al-Roken, Osama al-Najjar, Hussain Ali al-Najjar al-Hammadi and Dr Nasser bin Ghaith – to name but a few - as the worlds eyes converge on the country.

 

Who are the Prisoners of Conscience?

Ahmed Mansoor

Ahmed Mansoor is a prominent human rights defender who received the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015. He has documented the human rights situation in the UAE since 2006 and has publicly spoken out in defense of international human rights. Up until his arrest on 20 March 2017, Ahmed Mansoor was the last remaining human rights defender in the UAE who had been able to criticize the authorities publicly. He was tried and convicted on charges including "insulting the status and prestige of the UAE and its symbols" including its leaders, "publish[ing] false information to damage [the] UAE’s reputation abroad” and “portray[ing] the UAE as a lawless land,” and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on 29 May.

Dr Mohammed al-Roken

Dr Mohammed al-Roken is a prominent human rights lawyer and former president of the UAE’s Jurists Association who was arrested on 17 July 2012.  He was sentenced in July 2013 to 10 years’ imprisonment, following the grossly unfair trial of 94 reform advocates, which became known as the “UAE 94” trial.

Many of the UAE 94 defendants have alleged in court that they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated in pre-trial detention, where they were often held incommunicado for months in secret State Security detention facilities.

Osama al-Najjar

Osama al-Najjar was arrested on 17 March 2014 and sentenced to three years in prison after sending tweets addressed to the Minister of Interior expressing concern that his father had been ill-treated in prison. He was due for release from al-Razeen Prison in Abu Dhabi in March 2017, having fully served his prison sentence. However the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court decided to extend his detention at the request of the Public Prosecution on the pretext that he remained a threat and therefore should be detained in the Counseling Center, another area within the prison.

Hussain Ali al-Najjar al-Hammadi

Science teacher Hussain Ali al-Najjar al-Hammadi is Osama al-Najjar’s father. He was arrested on 16 July 2012. He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in the “UAE 94” trial and to a further 15 months in the trial of 20 Egyptian and 10 UAE nationals.

Dr Nasser bin Ghaith

Human rights defender Dr Nasser bin Ghaith was sentenced to ten year’s imprisonment on 29 March 2017 by the Federal Appeal Court in Abu Dhabi. He was tried and convicted on charges including “posting false information” about UAE leaders and their policies, based on comments he made on Twitter stating that he had not been given a fair trial in a 2011 case that included Ahmed Mansoor and three other Emiratis known as the “UAE 5” case. Dr Nasser bin Ghaith has also been convicted of “communicating and co-operating with members of the banned al-Islah organization”, in connection with meetings he had with individuals allegedly linked to the organization.

Here's what you can do:

ADDRESS THE UAE AUTHORITIES ON TWITTER

 

Please flood #AbuDhabiGP with tweets and photos of these prisoners of conscience!

Share this video:

Write to the UAE authorities to:

  • Release all prisoners of conscience including, Ahmed Mansoor, Dr Mohammed al-Roken, Osama al-Najjar, Hussain Ali al-Najjar al-Hammadi and Dr Nasser bin Ghaith, immediately and unconditionally
  • End the use of harassment, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment, and unfair trials against activists, human rights defenders and those critical of the authorities.

Send appeals by letter, fax, email, tweet to the UAE authorities: 

President of the United Arab Emirates

HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Ministry of Presidential Affairs
Corniche Road
Abu Dhabi
POB 280
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Fax: +971 2 622 2228
Email : ihtimam@mopa.ae, webmaster@mopa.ae
Salutation: Your Highness

 

Vice-President and Prime Minister

HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum
Prime Minister’s Office
PO Box 212000
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Fax: +971 4 330 4044
Email via web: https://uaecabinet.ae/en/contact-the-prime-minister

Twitter: @HHShkMohd
Salutation: Your Highness

 

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Crown Prince Court
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz
Al Saud Street,
P.O. Box 124
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Fax: +971 2 668 6622
Twitter: @MohamedBinZayed
Salutation: Your Highness

 

And copies to:

Minister of Interior

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan
Zayed Sport City, Arab Gulf Street,
Near Shaikh Zayed Mosque
PO Box: 398
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Fax: +971 2 402 2762 / +971 2 441 5780
Email: moi@moi.gov.ae
Twitter: @SaifBZayed
Salutation: Your Highness