United Nations human rights experts have called on the United Arab Emirates not to deport a Tatar Muslim to Russia who was detained in Guantanamo Bay.
The experts expressed their deep concern about the forcible deportation of former Guantanamo detainee Ravel Mingazov from the UAE to Russia.
Torture and arbitrary detention
The Emirati decision comes despite reports that he will be subjected to torture and arbitrary detention on the basis of his religious beliefs, if he returns to Russia.
This came in a joint statement issued by the experts, in which they accused the UAE of subjecting former Guantanamo detainee Ravel Mingazov to continued arbitrary detention in an unknown location despite the issuance of previous Emirati assurances that included his release.
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The statement said, “Mingazov, who is of Tatar Muslim origin, fled Russia (he did not specify where), due to fears of religious persecution and then was held in Guantanamo Bay without trial or charge, from October 2002 until January 2017.” .
In 2010, a US court ordered the immediate release of Mingazov from Guantanamo Bay, and six years later he was acquitted and transferred to the UAE, which provided assurances that he would be released into its community after undergoing a short-term rehabilitation program.
In this regard, the UN experts said they are very concerned that instead of releasing Mingazov, in accordance with the alleged US-UAE resettlement agreement, Mingazov has been subjected to continued arbitrary detention in an unknown location in the UAE, which amounts to enforced disappearance.
The experts continued: “Reportedly, the Russian authorities visited Mingazov’s house; To verify his photographic identity, in preparation for his return home. However, any return without full respect for procedural safeguards, including an individual risk assessment, would violate the absolute prohibition of refoulement.”
Neither Mingazov nor his family has been informed of any official information about the scheduled repatriation.
Mingazov, a Russian army officer, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002.
Agreement between the United States and the United Arab Emirates
While the UN experts urged the UAE government to “review its policies regarding the return of former Guantanamo detainees despite the high risks surrounding torture or ill-treatment in destination countries.”
It is noteworthy that the UAE had concluded an agreement with the United States, according to which 23 detainees were resettled in Guantanamo Bay in the UAE. Three of them have since been forcibly returned to their countries of origin.
While the experts made it clear that “it is not acceptable to return detainees who have not returned to their homes, after years of arbitrary detention in Guantanamo Bay; Fearing persecution, they are now being returned without judicial oversight or the possibility of appealing this decision.”
The experts stressed that the UAE government should also stop “violating the rights of detainees who have been resettled in the UAE, and order their immediate release and reunification with their families.”
While there was no immediate comment from the UAE regarding what the UN experts stated in their statement.
The statement was signed by Nils Melster, the Special Rapporteur on the issue of torture, Fionola E. Olin, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, and 4 other experts on enforced disappearances.
They are: Tae-Young Baikou, Henricus Macphisius, Bernard Duheim, and Luciano Hazan.
Earlier, Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Center for Human Rights expressed their concern over the selection of the UAE’s candidate for the position of President of the International “Interpol”.
The International Organization for Human Rights and the Gulf Center said in a statement that the nomination of Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, a senior official in the UAE interior, for the position of President of Interpol may threaten the human rights obligations of the International Police Organization.
She pointed out that Al-Raisi was an inspector general in the UAE Interior in 2015, which makes him responsible for investigating complaints against the police and security forces, stressing that the UAE state security services have a long record of multiple violations.
According to the international organization, Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi has held a senior position in the UAE Ministry of Interior, the Inspector General, since April 2015, which makes him responsible, among other things, for investigating complaints against the police and security forces. The UAE state security services have a long record of multiple violations.
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