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    • Criminal Complaint filed against Al Fajer Properties Sheikh Maktoum
      Criminal Complaint filed in Germany against Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum CEO of Dubai Developer Al Fajer Properties The Dubai Sheikh who mislead and extort a German Couple  Germany – Dubai 2011 A German elderly couple , today 80 + 50 years old who have been Dubai Tourists since a decade, bought in 2005 an apartment at Nakheel´s Dubai Residen […]
    • UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating' Officials
      source Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org (Beirut) - The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE governmen […]
    • Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case
      June 5, 2011After 21 hearings, Chris O'Donnell, the Australian chief executive of Dubai's major developer, Nakheel, came to the defence of his former colleagues Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee. Mr Joyce and Mr Lee are accused of profiting from the sale of land that had been earmarked for a colossal high-rise development, which was to include the futur […]
    • Dubai Nakheel CEO decided to leave the company
      Dubai June 7, 2011 Nakheel said on Wednesday that its CEO Chris O'Donnell had left the company "after completing his contract terms". O'Donnell, an Australian who joined the developer in 2006, said he had decided to leave Nakheel following five years spent with the company, the statement added. O'Donnell has overseen a traumatic time […]
    • Owner of Dubai Developer Damac Hussain Sajwani files case against Egypt corruption ruling
      Dubai property developer Damac said on Tuesday it had filed an international arbitration case against Egypt over a land dispute and the conviction of its chairman and owner, Hussain Sajwani.A Cairo court last week sentenced Sajwani in his absence to jail and ordered him to pay a $40.5 million fine in connection with his 2006 purchase of land at Egypt's […]
    • Dubai Palm Jumeriah - Investors plan to take legal action
      Investors in Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Golden Mile complex will this week serve the developer behind the project with a legal ultimatum to hand over their units or issue them with a refund.Up to ten investors in the luxury complex plan to issue Souq Residences with legal notice in a bid to force a resolution to a dispute that has been ongoing for more than a yea […]
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Amnesty UAE Dubai – Ahmad Mansoor Fahad Salem al-Shehh Nasser bin Ghaith

Posted by 7starsdubai on April 16, 2011


ADVOCATES OF POLITICAL REFORM DETAINED IN UAE

Amnesty International UAE Dubai

Two civil society activists and an economist have been detained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), apparently linked to their calls for political reform. Their lawyer does not know where they are being held. They are likely to be prisoners of conscience.

Ahmad Mansoor, a blogger associated with Hewar, an online political forum that is blocked by the UAE authorities, was detained on 8 April by a group of plain-clothed security officials from Amn al-Dawla, the UAE’s security police, together with two uniformed police. They took him from his home which they then searched, removing computers, books and documents. Hours earlier, before dawn, he had received a visit from men who said they were police and wanted to question him about his car, but he refused to accompany them, suspecting that it was a ruse to detain him. Reports suggest that the UAE authorities are attributing his arrest to an alcohol offence, saying bottles of whisky were found in Ahmed Mansoor’s car; however, the real reason for his arrest is believed to be his activism in supporting calls for political and other change in the UAE. The UAE is a confederation of seven emirates whose ruling families do not permit direct elections or political parties.

Fahad Salem al-Shehhi, 38, was arrested at his home in Ajman Emirate at 7 pm on 10 April. He too is associated with the online political forum, Hewar. Nasser bin Ghaith, an economist and lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of the Sorbonne University in Paris, was also detained on 10 April in Dubai. He too has written articles online advocating political reform in the UAE.

According to three detainees’ lawyer, the authorities said they would produce them at a holding centre in Dubai but then failed to do so. There are fears that they may be held by Amn al-Dawla in Abu Dhabi and that they are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Their lawyer expressed particular concern for Ahmed Mansoor, who he said had received death threats and told Amnesty International that he, too, had received death threats via Facebook.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic, English or your own language:

  • Expressing concern about the arrest and detention of Ahmad Mansoor, Fahad Salem al-Shehhi and Nasser bin Ghaith, all known peaceful advocates of political reform, and asking to be informed of the reasons for their arrest and their current legal status;
  • Calling for the three detainees to be released immediately and unconditionally if, as it appears, they are prisoners of conscience who are being held solely on account of their peaceful expression of their conscientiously held beliefs;
  • Urging the authorities to immediately disclose their whereabouts, to ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment and have access to a lawyer, their families and any medical treatment they might require;
  • Calling on the authorities to remove restrictions on the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, in line with international human rights law and standards.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 MAY 2011 TO:

Vice-President and Prime Minister

Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Co-Chair of the Higher National Security Council,

Office of the Prime Minister

POB 2838, Dubai, UAE

Fax: +971 4 3531974; Email through web:http://www.uaepm.ae/en/communicate/index.html (1st*=Full name; 2nd*=Age;3rd*=Nationality;4th*=Place of Work;5th*=Email;6th*=Type of Communication – select “Suggestion”; 7th*=Subject;8th*=Message)

Salutation: Your Highness

Minister of Interior

Lt-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

Minister of Interior

Human Rights Directorate

POB: 398, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Fax: +971 4 3981119

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahya

POB 1, Abu Dhabi,

United Arab Emirates

Fax: +971 2 4447766

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

ADVOCATES OF POLITICAL REFORM DETAINED IN UAE

Additional Information

Human Rights UAE

Human Rights UAE Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, each governed by an absolute ruler called an amir. The individual emirates do not hold local elections. Instead, a regionally determined and selected National Electoral Committee elects half the members of a consultative body, the 40-person Federal National Council (FNC), which sits in Abu Dhabi. The other 20 are appointed by the president. The term of office is two years. Amongst its limited remit, the FNC can examine and amend federal legislation but not veto it.

On 9 March, over 130 civil and political rights activists in the UAE petitioned the president of the UAE to introduce universal, direct elections for the FNC and to give it legislative powers. Ahmed Mansoor had strongly and openly supported the petition and gave a range of media interviews to support the initiative.

Human Rights Watch, in a statement on 9 April, noted that Ahmed Mansoor is a member of the Middle East and North Africa advisory committee at the organisation and that HRW “honored and recognized his efforts to promote human rights in the Emirates at a news conference in Dubai on January 26.” (see: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/04/09/uae-government-detains-human-rights-defender?print)

On 11 April, a Dubai police official was quoted in Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper saying that Ahmed Mansoor was detained on the authority of the Federal Prosecutor in connection with a ‘criminal case’. However, no details were provided. Amnesty International believes this to be a pretext to legitimise his arrest.

Ahmed Mansoor, like his lawyer, Abdelhamid al-Kumaitli, has recreived death threats via Facebook. One, according to HRW, was sent on 5 April and stated: “Ahmed Mansoor, you are dead. I swear that I will search for you in every house. I swear to God that I will cut you in pieces … if I don’t slaughter you, my cousins will cut your head, you dog.”

Ahmed Mansoor and Fahad al-Shehhi were reportedly active in Hewar, an online political forum which is banned in the UAE. Nasser bin Ghaith is an economics professor at the Abu Dhabi branch of France’s Sorbonne University.

Political suspects in the UAE are commonly held incommunicado in undisclosed locations. Those arrested by Amn al-Dawla are reportedly often kept in solitary confinement. A few political detainees have been allowed to make brief and limited phone calls to their families.

Political parties do not exist in the UAE; political dissent is not tolerated and there are severe restrictions on freedom of expression and association. Websites have been targeted for closure and their owners prosecuted for defamation.

The use of torture of political detainees has been widely reported. Methods have included sleep deprivation, suspension by the wrists or ankles followed by severe beatings to the soles of the feet and even the use of electric shocks to various parts of the body.

The UN Human Rights Committee has commented that routine prolonged solitary confinement is inconsistent with the obligation on states to ensure prisoners are treated with humanity and with respect for their inherent dignity. (General comment 21/44, 6 April 1992).

UA: 111/11 Index: MDE 25/001/2011 Issue Date: 13  PDF Urgent Action Amnesty International April 2011

Source Amnesty International

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