The International Center for Justice and Human Rights said that prisoners of conscience in the UAE are subjected to a systematic violation of their rights and an undermining of their dignity and humanity.
In a statement, the Center referred to the case of prisoner of conscience Nasser bin Ghaith, a university student who holds a PhD degree in international trade and international economic law at the University of Essex. He has taught and lectured at more than one college and high institute, including Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi.
Academic Dr Nasser bin Ghaith was arrested by the State Security Service in the UAE on August 18, 2015, in Abu Dhabi. And his house was searched, and his personal belongings were confiscated.
He was arrested after a tweet in which he criticized the Egyptian regime’s violations of human rights after the Rabaa massacre, in which the UAE authorities found disturbing relations with the Egyptian state via the Internet, provoking strife, hatred, racism and sectarianism, and harming national unity and social peace, according to the meaning of the bad federal law regarding Information technology crimes.
Dr Nasser bin Ghaith was subjected to enforced disappearance at the time of his arrest. He was kept in a secret place for nine months, severely beaten, deprived of sleep, ill-treatment, and denied access to his medication to extract confessions from him by force. He was denied contact with his family and his lawyer during detention.
On March 29, 2017, Dr Nasser bin Ghaith was sentenced to 10 years in prison under the Cybercrime Law without letting his lawyer adequately plead and submit his defences.
Nasser bin Ghaith was subjected to enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment during his detention and was denied access to his lawyer more than once.
Dr Nasser bin Ghaith made a statement to the public opinion from his imprisonment in which he affirmed his innocence and that his trial was not fair.
Dr Nasser bin Ghaith’s health status also deteriorated due to the hunger strike and the harsh treatment he was subjected to inside Al-Razeen prison and due to health neglect, and his placement in solitary confinement in violation of international minimum standards of detention and federal law on penal facilities.
The UAE authorities refuse to release Dr Nasser bin Ghaith despite international calls for his release after his health deteriorated and after the outbreak of the Covid 19 in the wards of Al-Razeen prison, which requires reducing the number of detainees and reducing overcrowding so that prisons do not turn into epidemic hotbeds.
The Center confirmed that Dr Nasser bin Ghaith, still in detention, is considered one of the prisoners of conscience, and the decision to imprison him for expressing his opinion violates his rights guaranteed under the UAE constitution and international human rights law.
The Center renewed its call to the UAE authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the academic, economic expert and human rights activist Dr Nasser bin Ghaith and other political opponents and human rights defenders and to stop violating their rights and undermining their dignity and humanity.
He also called for the need to open a serious and impartial investigation into what bin Ghaith was subjected to in terms of torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and ill-treatment in prison, and to hold those responsible accountable and grant him the right to a remedy, reparation and rehabilitation.