Human Rights Watch expressed its condemnation of the UAE’s issuance of a harsh court ruling of 10 years imprisonment against a Jordanian activist. The regime criticized the regime in his country and King Abdullah II on social media.
Ten years, then deportation
The organization said, in a press statement, that the verdict, which was approved by an Emirati court last October, was based on peaceful posts by activist Ahmed Al-Atoum.
UAE: Jordanian condemned for criticizing Jordan on “Facebook” https://t.co/qUvh1XOWIY
Human Rights Watch (@hrw_ar)
And Ahmed Al-Atoum, a Jordanian dissident who has lived in the UAE for eight years, was arrested because of publications criticizing the monarchy in Jordan.
The Federal Court charged the Jordanian activist with “acts against a foreign country” that would “harm political relations” with that state.
He was also accused of “endangering the security of the UAE”, based on Al-Atoum’s posts on “Facebook” criticizing King Abdullah II and his family.
UAE expands the circle of repression
“The UAE authorities have always cracked down,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. On public criticism of the UAE’s authorities and policies.
“It seems that it has expanded this repression to include critics of other countries as well. It seems that cooperation to root out and silence independent voices and criticism is the only form of Arab unity that these two governments can achieve.
He continued, “The UAE markets itself as a state of tolerance, but this tolerance does not extend to criticizing governments in the region, but rather suppresses these criticisms with force.”
According to the organization, “The UAE authorities have always used broad laws to limit legal expression that violates international standards. It has launched a sustained attack on freedom of expression and association since 2011.
The organization said: “Residents of the UAE who have spoken about human rights issues are at grave risk of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and torture. Many of them are serving long prison terms or have left the country under pressure.
It is noteworthy that the ruling requires Al-Otum to complete his ten years in prison, before being permanently deported from the UAE.
The Al-Atoum family held a sit-in several times in front of the Prime Ministry building in Jordan, calling on the Foreign Ministry to take action to return their son, who was not offended to the UAE with any publication. According to what they say.
The UAE has arrested a number of Jordanians on political grounds, and their case emerged during the Corona pandemic, which affected a number of them in prisons.
In another context, “Human Rights Watch” said that the UAE authorities have detained a British citizen for more than 11 years, even though he was sentenced to prison. Only six years, despite his pardon in 2014.
She explained that the prison authorities deprived Michael Brian Smith (54 years) throughout his detention from regular and uninterrupted access to the necessary medicines and adequate health care.
And she continued: “The UAE authorities should review Smith’s case, reveal the basis for his continued detention, and immediately release him if he is not there. Judgments or lawsuits pending against him ”.
She added, “It appears that the procedures for his recovery and trial have been marred by due process violations, and that he has been detained for the last six years. At least arbitrary and illegal. ”
Michael Page stated that “the reasons for the extradition of Michael Smith to the UAE and the procedures for his civil and criminal trial there do not inspire any confidence in the ability of the UAE judiciary. To abide by its UAE laws, nor international standards.
He continued: “The continued detention of a detainee after completing his sentence and denying him adequate medical care for a serious health condition demonstrates the UAE’s utter contempt for the rule of law.”
Smith’s arrest and detention in Thailand in May 2009 followed a request for extradition by the UAE on charges of forging an unofficial document, using it and breaching trust.
These crimes carry a maximum penalty of three years under UAE law.
Smith, a former manager at a private international company in the UAE, spent nearly two years in a Thai prison opposing his extradition request. He said he contracted HIV in the prison hospital.
Previous case of a Jordanian detainee
And in the middle of last year, Jordanian detainee Abdullah Sami Abu Bakr appealed to the Emirates, the Jordanians to bring their case to the Jordanian National Assembly. “To immediately intervene to release them.”
This came in an audio leak of detainee Abu Bakr, obtained by the Jordanian newspaper Al-Sabeel.
Abu Bakr said: “Thank you very much to all the free Prime Time Zone and all the activists from the elite and the Fazaa Prime Time Zone who stood with us and sympathized with our cause. They sought to relieve our anguish and the anguish of our Prime Time Zone, and I especially mention the anthropomorphic and the archetypal in Jordan.
He added, “Let us feel proud. Our cells are proud that we belong to a nation where Prime Time Zone like you have returned. Hope has returned to us and you have removed the pain behind bars in prison.”
Abu Bakr continued: “I say to all those who stood with us:“ May God grant you wellness, and may God grant you success, oh dear ones, brothers. Next, the innocent child you see comes next. Her father has dressed her like my children, like all the children of detainees outside their home countries.
He appealed to the Jordanians, on behalf of the detainees, to deliver their case to the “Free Representatives of the Jordanian National Assembly, to intervene for the immediate release of us … and to delegate our matter to the Lord of the Worlds.”
Abu Bakr called on the Jordanian Prime Time Zone to “launch a campaign entitled # Brothers Next to support the Jordanian detainees in the UAE.”
Arrest for trading a video on WhatsApp
Abu Dhabi arrested the two brothers Yasser and Abdullah Abu Bakr on October 30, 2015, on charges of sharing a video clip of the Islamic State, through the WhatsApp program.
But their mother, Manal Muhailan, says that they shared the clip between them and their two friends, Bahaa Adel Matar and Maher Atiyah Abu Al Shawarib “with the intention of informing, not promoting.”
The fate of the four was 10 years in prison, in addition to a fine for each one of them worth one million dirhams.
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