UAE: Appeal to UAE authorities to release prisoners of conscience who have served their full prison terms

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On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) called on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to release prisoners of conscience who have completed their sentences.
GCRL claims that, by keeping prisoners in detention despite the expiry of their sentences, the UAE authorities demonstrate a grave disregard for the rule of law.
Geneva Council has learned that the UAE continues to hold at least 11 prisoners of conscience who have fully spent their imprisonment sentences. Authorities decided to extend their detention on the pretext that they pose a threat to national security. They transferred prisoners to counseling centers without legal basis.
GCRL said that there are serious allegations of violations of due process and fair trial guarantees in the UAE, especially in state security-related cases and the practice of freedom of expression including arbitrary detentions and the practice of torture.
It also pointed out that depriving detainees of liberty for many years after the end of their sentences blatantly goes against UAE and international law.
The following is a list of the detainees who are still being held in arbitrary detention as documented by GCRL:
1 Ahmad Al-Mulla, detained on May 01, 2014, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since May 1, 2017.
2 Faisal Al-Shehhi, detained on May 01, 2014, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since April 22, 2017.
3 Abdullah Al-Helou, detained on April 22, 2014, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since April 22, 2017.
4 Saeed Al-Buraimi, detained on March 26, 2013, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since March 26, 2018.
5 Abdel Wahed Hassan Badi, detained on March 26, 2013, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since March 26, 2018.
6 Khalifa Rabiaa, detained on July 23, 2013, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. He has ended his rule since July 23, 2018.
7 Abdullah Al-Hajri, detained on July 16, 2012, and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since July 16, 2019.
8 Imran Al-Radwan Al-Harthy, detained on July 16, 2012, and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since July 16, 2019.
9 Fahad Al-Hajri, detained on March 02, 2013, and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since March 2, 2020.
10 Mahmoud Al Hosani, detained on July 16, 2012, and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since July 16, 2019.
11 Mansour Al-Ahmadi, detained on October 12, 2012, and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He has ended his sentence since October 13, 2019.
Accordingly, Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties calls on the UAE authorities to end the practice of holding prisoners indefinitely after serving their sentences, by stopping the work of the “counseling” program that is inconsistent with d international human rights standards and the UAE’s law and to immediately release all those whose sentences have ended.
GCRL also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all human rights defenders and activists detained in the UAE after growing concerns about their physical health and psychological well-being amid the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the country, which led to the ban on family visits.

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