Two human rights organizations filed a complaint to the United Nations against the UAE for preventing the paralyzed son of an Emirati opposition figure from travelling and meeting his family.
The two organizations called on the United Nations to intervene with the UAE to lift the travel ban on Muhammad Al-Nuaimi to reunite him with his family.
MENA for Human Rights and ALQST for Human Rights said they sent a letter related to the complaint to three UN rapporteurs: the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, the Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Mohammed Al Nuaimi is the son of Emirati political opponent Ahmed Al Shaiba Al Nuaimi. He is currently residing in the UK and has not returned to the UAE since his 2012 arrest.
Muhammad Al-Nuaimi was placed under a travel ban as a form of reprisal for his father’s activities.
Due to a travel ban, he is separated from his father, mother, and five brothers, who are currently living in the UK.
On 2 July 2013, the UAE issued a sentence in absentia against Ahmed Al Nuaimi, 15 years in prison, in the case of “UAE 94”.
The case goes back to Emirati personalities sending a letter to the President of the State calling for reform, democracy, and the release of freedoms in the country.
In March 2011, 132 activists, some of the Reform Call Society members, signed a petition calling for increased political participation and constitutional reforms in the UAE.
In retaliation for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association, Islah members and other activists were arrested during various waves of arrests, starting in March 2012. They were tried in a case that became known as “UAE 94”.
Ahmed Al-Nuaimi, director of the education department at Al-Islah, was in the United Kingdom on a business trip in April 2012 when the wave of arrests was unfolding.
Fearing arrest due to exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association, Al-Nuaimi decided not to return to the UAE.
He was later sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in 2013, after a trial that the UN working group described as unfair detention.
Ahmed Al Nuaimi’s family, including his son Mohammed, who was 16 at the time, remained in the UAE during the wave of arrests.
On two occasions, the family attempted to be reunited with them in the United Kingdom, and in both attempts they were prevented from leaving the country.
In 2014, Al Nuaimi’s wife and five (out of six) children managed to leave the country across the land border, after which they joined Al Nuaimi in the United Kingdom.
However, Muhammad Al-Nuaimi was unable to make the arduous journey due to his health and disability.
He is still unable to leave the UAE due to the authorities’ travel ban, which prevents him from reuniting with his family.
Muhammad Al-Nuaimi’s case of cerebral palsy needs constant care: he eats through tubes; He needs regular medication and needs to be changed frequently while lying down.
His father, Ahmed Al-Nuaimi, tried to communicate with the UAE authorities on several occasions to inquire about the possibility of his son being allowed to travel to the United Kingdom.
However, the UAE authorities have consistently refused to discuss this matter or take any action in this regard.