Emirates Leaks

UAE Federal Supreme Court Upholds Omani Prisoner’s Life Sentence


On Monday, 10 August, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi issued the final verdict in the case of Abdullah al-Shamsi, upholding his life sentence.

Al-Shamsi, a 21-year old Omani citizen detained in the UAE since August 2018, made headlines earlier this year as the first confirmed coronavirus victim in an Emirati prison. His diagnosis was particularly worrying considering his serious underlying health conditions, which include kidney cancer, hypertension and diabetes. His mother has furthermore repeatedly confirmed that her son is in poor psychological health, suffering from depression and mental disorders.

Despite this dire health condition, al-Shamsi was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment in a case marred with serious human rights violations.

State security forces arrested Mr al-Shamsi without a warrant and subjected him to an enforced disappearance in a secret detention facility for over six months. During this time, he was denied access to a lawyer.

Al-Shamsi revealed in one of the few family visits that he had been subjected to torture during interrogations, which indicates that the confession used against him in court was obtained under duress.

His trial began in February 2020, more than a year and a half after his arrest. The UAE authorities barred the family from attending most court hearings and denied them access to official documents.

ICFUAE statement:

In light of Mr Al-Shamsi’s poor health and the UAE authorities’ blatant fair trial and due process violations, ICFUAE considers the verdict grossly unjust and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.