The Emirates Center for Human Rights called for the release of seven prisoners of conscience in the UAE prisons when their unjust sentences expire.
The centre said that the unjust sentences against seven detainees in the case known in the media as The Seven Citizens have ended, while the UAE authorities continue to arbitrarily arrest them, violating international laws and norms that criminalize the arrest of individuals after the end of their sentences.
The seven detainees are Ahmed Ghaith Al-Suwaidi – Hussein Munif Al-Jabri – Hassan Munif Al-Jabri – Ibrahim Hassan Al-Marzouqi – Dr Shaheen Abdullah Al-Hosani – Dr Ali Hussein Al-Hammadi – Dr Muhammad Abdul Razzaq Al-Siddiq Al-Obaidli.
The authorities arrested them on March 26, 2012. During this period, they were subjected to the crime of enforced disappearance until their trial in July 2013 and the issuance of 10-year prison sentences against them in the trial known in the media UAE 94.
The centre states that the Emirati authorities arbitrarily withdrew their Emirati citizenship before arresting them in cases they claimed were security, as a punishment for their signing of the March 3 petition, which called for developing the experience of the National Council and strengthening the independence of the judiciary.
The Emirates Center stressed the need for the authorities to respect the UAE law and implement its provisions away from their systematic policy of revenge against prisoners of conscience, as Article 13 of the Punitive Facilities Law states that “no person may remain in the penal facility after the specified period.”
It stated that the UAE authorities are still holding 7 of the detainees, even though their sentences have expired, on the pretext that they may “pose a terrorist threat.”
In this procedure, the Abu Dhabi authorities rely on Article 40 of Law No. 7 of 2014 regarding terrorist crimes, which justifies the extension of their detention in “counselling centres” without clearly specifying the nature of the terrorist threat and without specifying a period for their detention, which is considered a clear arbitrary deprivation of their right to freedom. A flagrant violation of human rights principles.
The human rights centre stressed that the “counselling process” that the UAE authorities claim to carry out with prisoners of conscience occurs inside prisons, such as the notorious Al-Razeen prison.
This is without specifying a precise time limit for their release while depriving them of their right to appeal and file a judicial grievance against the decision to place them there. This represents a form of arbitrary detention in a crime in violation of international law that protects their fundamental rights, especially in not depriving them of their freedom after their sentences.
The Emirates Center called on the Emirati authorities to stop their policy of detaining prisoners of conscience who have completed their sentences under the pretext of counselling and release them immediately without conditions because this is considered arbitrary detention and a violation of the law and their right to freedom.
The Human Rights Center also called for opening an immediate and impartial investigation into the torture, ill-treatment, and enforced disappearance they were subjected to and held accountable to all those involved.