In a series of tweets, the daughter of Emirati prisoner of conscience Abdul Salam Darwish confirmed that Emirati authorities revoked the citizenships of her mother and two brothers while they were receiving medical treatment in the US.
Darwish was arrested and subjected to an enforced disappearance on July 24, 2012 for signing the 2011 reform petition urging the president of the UAE to allow direct elections and grant legislative powers to parliament.
During his time in pre-trial detention, he was subjected to torture during interrogation. He was later tried as part of the notorious “UAE 94” case and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Darwish himself was also arbitrarily stripped of his citizenship.
The case of Abdul Salam Darwish illustrates the UAE’s practice of arbitrary citizenship withdrawal that Emirati nationals are exposed to if they criticize the government, often leaving them stateless and without income.
The situation of prisoners of conscience in the UAE continues to raise serious concerns among international human rights groups.