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Archive for the ‘Mohammed Al Roken’ Category

UAE mass trial of 94 Islamist activists

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 4, 2013


UAE mass trial 94 march 2013 The trial is due to begin in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of 94  activists accused of plotting to seize power in the Gulf state.

The suspects include judges, lawyers, academics and student leaders. Human rights groups say the trial is deeply flawed and have called it a “mockery of justice”.

Continue reading original Source BBC

Further Report Financial Times

 

 

 

HUMAN Rights Watch UAE: Ensure Fair Trial of 94 Political Activists

(Beirut) – original source Human Rights Watch .  The trial of 94 Emirati citizens accused of crimes against national security on March 4, 2013, raises serious fair trial concerns, including limited access to lawyers and withholding of key documents concerning the charges and evidence against them, Human Rights Watch said today. The detainees include two prominent human rights lawyers, Mohammed al-Roken and Mohammed al-Mansoori, as well as judges, teachers, and student leaders, at least 10 of whom are women. Several defendents have alleged that they were subjected to ill-treatment in detention, Human Rights Watch said.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish released a statement on January 27, 2013, alleging that the 94 “launched, established, and ran an organization seeking to oppose the basic principles of the UAE system of governance and to seize power.” But as of February 27, the authorities had not released to lawyers the identities of all 94 detainees, documents setting out the charges against them, or the evidence on which these charges are based. Authorities have held 64 detainees whose identities are known at undisclosed locations for periods of up to a year and denied them legal assistance until late February. The decision to prosecute the case before the Federal Supreme Court under state security procedures deprives those being tried of the right to appeal, Human Rights Watch said.

“Defense lawyers cannot possibly defend their clients adequately without seeing the documents setting out the evidence against them,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It appears that UAE authorities will drag scores of citizens through a shamelessly unfair judicial process that makes a mockery of justice.”

Local activists in contact with family members of the detainees told Human Rights Watch that authorities finally allowed some defendants to meet separately with defense lawyers on February 20 and 21, and February 25, 26, and 27. These meetings took place at the office of the state security prosecutor in Abu Dhabi, the families said, with a representative of the prosecutor’s office listening in to the conversations. The reported circumstances of the meetings violated the confidentiality of conversations between lawyers and their clients.

Family members of five of the detainees told Human Rights Watch that their detained family members had told them about ill-treatment in detention, including prolonged solitary confinement, 24-hour bright fluorescent lighting, inadequate heating, forced wearing of hoods whenever they were outside their cells – including while being escorted to the bathroom or interrogation rooms – and persistent insults from prison guards. As Human Rights Watch has previously documented, a son of one of the detainees, who was at a court hearing to extend their detention on September 6, 2012, reported that they appeared disheveled, disoriented, and distressed. Two of the detainees appeared barely able to walk, one appeared unable to follow the proceedings, and another told the judge that he was weak because he had been given sleeping pills.

The specific whereabouts of the 64 detainees, who have ties to a peaceful Islamist group, al-Islah, remain unknown, prompting concern for their well-being. Al-Islah has been a legally recognized organization in the UAE since 1974. Human Rights Watch has previously documented how lawyers employed by the only Emirati law firm currently offering legal assistance to the detainees have themselves been arrested, deported, and intimidated.

Though most of the defendants were arrested between May and July 2012, local activists told Human Rights Watch that authorities only began allowing family visits in November. Currently, detainees are allowed to call family members twice a week for a maximum of three minutes per phone call. The calls are monitored by state security officers, who immediately disconnect the calls if the detainee or family member attempts to discuss his or her case or location.

Since November authorities also have allowed family members to meet all detainees in person once a month for a maximum of 30 minutes at the office of the state security prosecutor in Abu Dhabi, but only with a representative from the prosecutor’s office in the room.

Though details of the charges remain unknown, based on the attorney general’s January 27 statement it appears authorities will charge the activists with violating article 180 of the penal code, which mandates up to 15 years in prison for anyone who has “set up, established, organized, or run an association or organized body or branch of an organization that seeks to subvert the ruling regime of the country or to promote this through use of force or otherwise.” The same article provides for up to five years in prison for members of such organizations.

Family members of the detainees told Human Rights Watch that authorities froze all bank accounts and assets of detainees following their arrest as well as accounts and assets of their spouses and underage children, in many cases leaving them in difficult financial circumstances. Human Rights Watch has seen a copy of a signed order from the UAE attorney general dated October 25, 2012, ordering all money and assets of 23 of the detainees frozen as well as those of their wives and underage children.

Authorities told defense lawyers in late February that they will permit two family members of each male defendant and one family member of each female defendant to attend the March 4 court session, though in order to enter the sessions each visitor must hand over a copy of each of the following documents: his or her ID card, a personal photo, phone numbers, a proof of relationship with the detainee, and a copy of his or her car registration. The requirement to provide phone numbers, photographs, and car registrations heightens concerns that the authorities will use the trial as a means of gathering data on friends and families of those accused in an arbitrary interference of their right to privacy, Human Rights Watch said.

Previous trials of activists in the UAE have consistently demonstrated serious due process flaws. Following the 2011 trial of five prominent activists who had signed a petition calling for more democracy in the UAE, known as the UAE5, a coalition of five human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch issued a report showing that “flagrant due process flaws” had essentially denied the five men the right to a fair trial. Among the flaws were the prosecutors’ refusal to hand over to defense lawyers all the documents setting out the charges and evidence against them, denial of confidential meetings between defendants and their lawyers, and persistent unequal treatment of the defense and prosecution.

Article 13 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, to which the UAE is a state party, states that “[e]veryone has a right to a fair trial that affords adequate guarantees before a competent, independent and impartial court…” Article 16 mandates that in the course of an investigation and trial every defendant should enjoy minimum guarantees, including the right to be informed promptly of the charges, adequate time and facilities to prepare a legal defense, and the right to communicate confidentially and freely with lawyers.

“Trying these men and women before the Federal Supreme Court adds fair trial concerns to already established serious human rights violations underlying this case, including arbitrary detention and ill-treatment,” Whitson said.

Posted in Human Rights Activst UAE, Mohammed Al Roken, Nasser bin Ghaith, UAE 94 islamist mass trial | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on UAE mass trial of 94 Islamist activists

European Parliament Human Rights situation in the United Arab Emirates

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 26, 2012


 

European Parliament October 2012 – Motion for a resulution source original

A. whereas the government of the United Arab Emirates has accelerated its crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society activists in 2012, bringing the number of political detainees to 64;

B.  whereas most of them are in incommunicado detention, there are allegations of torture, and they are being denied legal assistance;

C. whereas the detainees include the vice-president of the Student Association of the United Arab Emirates, Mansoor al-Ahmadi, one sitting judge, Mohamed al-Abdouly, two former judges, Khamis al-Zyoudiand and Ahmed al-Za’abi, and two prominent human rights lawyers, Mohamed al-Mansoori – a former president of the Jurists’ Association – and Mohamed al-Roken;

D. whereas employees of the Emirian lawyer who is offering the detainees legal assistance have allegedly been subjected to a systematic campaign of harassment and intimidation, including the deportation of three non-Emirian employees on grounds of national security; whereas lawyers who have travelled to the United Arab Emirates to offer legal assistance to the detainees have also been harassed;

E.  whereas human rights defenders and democracy activists have been subjected to harassment, travel bans, restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, arbitrary detention, revocation of nationality, deportation, and illegal imprisonment;

F.  whereas the authorities of the United Arab Emirates have insisted that their crackdown is a response to a foreign-inspired Islamist plot that aims to overthrow the government; whereas the detainees all have ties to al-Islah, a peaceful Islamist group that has operated in the United Arab Emirates since 1974; whereas the evidence indicates that national security is the pretext for a crackdown on peaceful activism designed to stifle calls for constitutional reform and reform on human rights issues such as statelessness;

G. whereas a prominent human rights defender and blogger, Ahmed Mansoor, was attacked twice in recent weeks and has suffered constant intimidation and threats; whereas he spent seven months in jail in 2011 before his conviction in November for insulting the country’s senior officials; whereas the authorities have retained his passport and arbitrarily barred him from travelling;

H. whereas, together with other activists, Mansoor was accused of insulting political figures in the country after arranging for and signing a petition calling for greater political participation via an elected parliament with full legislative and regulatory powers;

I.   whereas on 15 July 2012, in his statement, the public prosecutor, announced that the detained group of political opponents would be investigated for plotting ‘crimes against state security’, ‘opposing the UAE constitution and ruling system’, and having ties to ‘foreign organisations and agendas’;

J.   whereas while freedom of speech and press freedom are constitutionally protected in the United Arab Emirates, its penal code allows the authorities to prosecute people for speech which is critical of the government; whereas at least one online discussion forum has been closed down, and access from the United Arab Emirates to several political websites has been blocked;

K. whereas prominent internationally renowned non-governmental organisations promoting democracy in the region were closed in 2012 by the authorities of the United Arab Emirates, notably the Dubai office of the National Democratic Institute and the Abu Dhabi office of the German pro-democracy think tank Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung;

L.  whereas many migrant workers, who make up over 80 % of the workforce, are subject to exploitation and serious abuses; whereas immigration sponsorship laws grant employers extraordinary power over the lives of these workers; whereas they have no right to organise or bargain collectively and face penalties for going on strike; whereas many female domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates report an array of abuses including unpaid wages, food deprivation, long working hours, forced confinement, and physical and sexual abuse;

M. whereas, according to the report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, trafficking in persons for labour exploitation continues to be widespread in the United Arab Emirates and victims of such trafficking remain unidentified;

N. whereas the government made little progress in implementing the CEDAW Committee recommendation in early 2010;

O. whereas death sentences continue to be imposed in the United Arab Emirates;

1.  Expresses great concern about assaults, repression and intimidation against human rights defenders, political activists and civil society actors within the United Arab Emirates who peacefully exercise their basic rights to freedom of expression, opinion, and assembly; calls on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to halt the ongoing crackdowns immediately;

2.  Calls for the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience and activists including human rights defenders and calls on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to ensure that detainees deemed to have broken the law be brought before a judge, be charged with a crime and be provided with the legal assistance of their choosing;

3.  Calls on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to conduct thorough and impartial investigations into the assault and public threats made against Ahmed Mansoor and all the other cases of harassment and assault;

4.  Calls for the respect of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, both online and offline, freedom of assembly, women’s rights and gender equality, the fight against discrimination, and the right to a fair trial;

5.  Welcomes the accession of the United Arab Emirates on 19 July 2012 to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and urges the UAE authorities to affirm its commitment to its assumed treaty obligations by conducting thorough, impartial and independent investigations into the allegations of torture as well as allegations that individuals have been forcibly disappeared;

6.  Calls on the United Arab Emirates to affirm its intent to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights’ in line with its bid for membership of the UN Human Rights Council for 2013 to 2015 by ratifying the ICCPR and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and their optional protocols and by issuing a standing invitation to visit to all UN special procedure mandate holders;

7.  Expresses deep concern about the abject living and working conditions of thousands of migrant workers and stateless persons in the United Arab Emirates;

8.  Urges the Government of the United Arab Emirates to undertake reforms of its legal and regulatory framework to address the abuse of migrant workers in the country, especially women who are the most vulnerable to exploitation and gender-based violence, and in particular the kafala system of sponsorship-based employment;

9.  Welcomes the adoption by the United Arab Emirates in 2012 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers; urges the United Arab Emirates to affirm its commitment to abide by its provisions by extending key labour protections to domestic workers, such as weekly days off, limits to hours of work, and a decent wage;

10. Welcomes efforts made by the United Arab Emirates to reform the 2006 Federal Law No 51 on Combating Human Trafficking Crimes and to adopt legislation to explicitly include labour exploitation, domestic servitude as well as other forms of trafficking and to enhance prosecution;

11. Condemns the application of the death penalty under any circumstance;

12. Welcomes the adoption of the new EU human rights package and urges the European institutions, including the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, to take concrete actions, together with the 27 Member States, to ensure a clear and principled EU policy vis-à-vis the United Arab Emirates that addresses the ongoing serious human rights violations, through démarches, public statements and initiatives at the Human Rights Council;

13. Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union and the European institutions to place human rights at the centre of its relations with all third countries, including strategic partners, with special emphasis on the next EU-GCC Ministerial Meeting;

14. Believes that it is crucial to continue the efforts to increase the cooperation between the EU and the Gulf region and to promote mutual understanding and trust; considers that regular inter-parliamentary meetings between Parliament and its partners in the region are an important forum to develop a constructive and frank dialogue on issues of common concern;

15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of the United Arab Emirates, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Posted in Human Rights Activst UAE, Mohammed Al Roken, UAE Activist | Tagged: | Comments Off on European Parliament Human Rights situation in the United Arab Emirates

Unbelievable Smear Campaign against detained UAE blogger Ahmed Mansoor

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 9, 2011


DUBAI (Reuters) – The family of Ahmed Mansoor a blogger on trial for calling for political change in the United Arab Emirates has condemned what it calls a smear campaign against him and urged the government to try to rein in people calling for his death.

United Arab Emirates Blogger Trial 2011 Ahmed Mansoor Human Rights Activist

Ahmed Mansoor is one of five activists accused of encouraging protests, insulting the country’s rulers and disrupting public order earlier this year, in a case described by rights groups as a travesty of justice.

In a statement distributed by his lawyer Mohammed al-Roken, Mansoor’s family said a widely-circulated voice message inviting people to kill him in the run-up to the latest court hearing was proof of an organised effort to provoke violence against him.

The voice message consisted of a poem which names Mansoor and concludes: “Anyone who kills him is excused,” the statement said.

“Our son Ahmed has been subjected to all kinds of incitement and betrayal and doubt in his devotion and insults and slurs against him and his father and elderly mother,” the statement added.

“We call on the authorities and public opinion to intervene to prevent ongoing infringements against our son.”

The family said messages spread via the Internet, phone and television channels had also demanded Mansoor’s citizenship be revoked.

“What has happened during this period is strange to the morals and values of Emirati society and a blatant interference in the work of the judiciary, which turns public opinion against Ahmed and his imprisoned friends in an unprecedented way.”

Mansoor, the main defendant in the trial, is accused of running a website where others could express anti-government views.

“Ahmed Mansoor is innocent and he has not yet been convicted of any crime and it has not been proven at all that he wrote or said anything to insult (the rulers),” his family said.

The UAE, the world’s third biggest oil exporter, has not seen the kind of protests that have rocked Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.

A verdict in the trial, which began in June, is expected in late November.

read also and sign the PETITON to Free the 5 UAE Activists

read also ……

Emirates Activists’ Trial Denounced As Violation Of International Law

Posted in Ahmed Mansoor Human Rights Dubai, Mohammed Al Roken, Nasser bin Ghaith, Petition to free the 5 UAE Activists, UAE Activist, UAE Blogger | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Unbelievable Smear Campaign against detained UAE blogger Ahmed Mansoor

UAE Activists boycotted to appear in court

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 2, 2011


Dubai – The case of Bin Gaith and four others returned to court Sunday in Abu Dhabi, where they face accusations of threatening the UAE’s stability by joining Internet campaigns calling for a greater public voice in the country’s affairs.

The 42-year-old Emirati, a decorated former air force pilot who holds degrees in law and international trade, comes from a prominent Dubai family with a long history of serving its rulers. He’s lectured at one of the country’s showcase institutions, the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris’ Sorbonne university, and worked as a legal adviser for the Emirates’ armed forces.

Yet the United Arab Emirates now considers him a potential enemy of the state.

The five activists – jailed since April – boycotted the session as part of demands for bail and to protest their treatement as alleged state security risks.

.For the first time, however, authorities opened the previously closed-door hearings to the public.

The police officer in charge of bringing the five defendants to the hearing told the State Security Court that they “refused to come,” without any further explanation, an AFP reporter said. One of their lawyers, Mohamed al-Roken, told the court that the defendants accused of insulting top United Arab Emirates officials refused to attend the hearing after their demands were not met.

The five men, four of whom are Emirati and one stateless, are demanding to “obtain all documents related to the trial, allow the defence to question all witnesses,” as well as an “end to their ill-treatment,” Roken told the court.
“They are denied their basic rights. Their rights were violated,” said Roken, as the wife Wedad al-Muhairi of one of the defendants, Nasser bin Gaith, broke down in tears. “They are treated worse than criminals,” he said.  (source Gulf Times)

In court Sunday, prosecutors played a video montage of patriotic images – including the UAE’s founder Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan – in an apparent attempt to mock the activists’ calls for reforms.

“They are all Emirati!” shouted defense lawyer Mohammed Roken. “They are all sons of Zayed!”

On April 17, bin Gaith’s regular column ran in an Abu Dhabi financial paper, Roayam Iqtisadiyya. Students at the Sorbonne were in class, waiting for bin Gaith to give one of the last classes before exams. He never showed up.

A day earlier, state security agents lured him from his Dubai villa to Abu Dhabi, the capital, and arrested him on the spot, his family said.

source StarNews….original written by Barbara Surk ……continue reading

and Gulf Times

Posted in Ahmed Mansoor Human Rights Dubai, Human Rights Activst UAE, Mohammed Al Roken, UAE Blogger, UAE Democracy, UAE elections | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on UAE Activists boycotted to appear in court

 
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