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    • 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 […]
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Archive for the ‘Nasser bin Ghaith’ 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

UAE Activists freed from jail

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 30, 2011


UAE Activist Ahmed Mansoor and his Lawyer Dr. Mohammed Al Roken

On Sunday, after being held in prison for almost eight months, the five were convicted of insulting the UAE’s leadership, endangering national security and inciting people to protest.

Then a day later, they received a presidential pardon and were freed.

One of the five, Ahmed Mansour is a prominent blogger. Another, Nasser bin Gaith, is an economics professor who has lectured at Paris’ Sorbonne university in Abu Dhabi.

The two told The Associated Press that they spent days in solitary confinement in Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba prison. The rest of the time they were held with convicted killers, terrorists, rapists, adulterous, drug dealers and pirates.

“It’s a mixed feeling to be out,” bin Gaith told the AP after his release. “I am with my family, but our arrests mark the beginning of a police state in the UAE.”

source CBS News ….continue reading

read also …...

Posted in Ahmed Mansoor Human Rights Dubai, Human Rights Activst UAE, Human Rights Dubai, Nasser bin Ghaith, UAE Activist, UAE Blogger, UAE Democracy | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on UAE Activists freed from jail

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: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating’ Officials

Posted by 7starsdubai on June 17, 2011


source Human Rights Watchhttp://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 government and therefore violate
their freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said. UAE authorities
should release the activists unconditionally and without delay.

The five defendants, who include a leading human rights activist,
Ahmed Mansoor, and a university lecturer, Nasser bin Ghaith, pled not
guilty on June 14, 2011, during a closed-door hearing in Abu Dhabi’s
Federal Supreme Court. The trial follows a campaign of harassment
against the activists after they and dozens of other UAE nationals signed a petition published on March 9 that sought constitutional and parliamentary
changes in the Emirates and free elections in which all citizens could participate.

UAE rulers are prosecuting these activists solely for advocating democratic reforms,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should end this shameful crackdown on peaceful dissent.”
The five activists have been detained and denied bail since early April. Local news reports said that dozens of pro-government protesters holding banners and flags gathered outside the courtroom on June 14 and
shouted slogans condemning the activists. The next hearing is scheduled for July 18.

Authorities arrested Mansoor on April 8 and are holding him at the Al Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi. Mansoor has been a vocal proponent of the petition. Before his arrest, he gave numerous television and other media interviews on the issue.
Mansoor is a member of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East advisory committee.

On April 10, security forces detained bin Ghaith, an economics lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris’ Sorbonne
University, who has criticized UAE authorities for failing to undertake significant political reforms. The three other detained online activists are Fahad Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali al-Khamis, and Ahmed Abd al-Khaleq.
In early June, UAE authorities charged the five detainees under article 176 of the Penal Code, which permits a sentence of up to five years in prison for “whoever publicly humiliates the State President, its flag or national emblem.” Article 8 of the code widens the application of the provision to include the vice president, members of the Supreme Council of the Federation, and others. The charges came after Attorney General Salim Saeed Kubaish said on April 25 that the
five detainees were in “preventive custody” for “instigation, breaking laws and perpetrating acts that pose a threat to state security,undermining the public order, opposing the government system, and insulting the president, the vice president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.”

In the weeks following the arrests, the UAE expanded its crackdown on civil society by dissolving the elected board of directors of both the Jurist Association and the Teachers’ Association. The decrees, signed by Social Affairs Minister Mariam Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi, dismissed the boards and replaced their members with state appointees. Both associations, along with two other nongovernmental organizations, had signed a public appeal calling for greater democracy in the country on April 6.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders provides that countries should “take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of everyone against any violence, threats, retaliation, adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action” as a result of their participation in human rights activity.

Article 32 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which has been ratified by the UAE, guarantees the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and to impart news to others by any means. The only restrictions allowed on the practice of this right are those imposed for “respect for the rights of others, their reputation, or the protection
of national security, public order, public health, or public morals.”

Posted in Ahmed Mansoor Human Rights Dubai, Human Rights Activst UAE, Nasser bin Ghaith, Samer Muscati, United Arab Emirates, Unrest Middle East | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating’ Officials

Democracy and Human Rights-Middle East Unrest – Repression in the United Arab Emirates

Posted by 7starsdubai on June 4, 2011


June 2011 – source The Nation

For the past four months, hundreds of thousands of voices demanding variations on a theme—democracy, human rights, an end to torture, a stop to corruption—have echoed from Morocco to Yemen, each with its own local variation. In the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven small semi-autonomous sheikdoms, that voice sounded a little hoarse. More like a whisper, you might say. And then it went silent.

Unrest and Protest Middle East 2011 - Human Rights - Repression in the United Arab Emirates - Anna Louie Sussman The Nations

Since April 8 , 2011 the Emirati government has arrested five prominent Emiratis—activists, bloggers and an academic—for signing a petition calling for reform, and thrown them in jail, where they remain to this day. They are being held without charges, although they are in contact with their families and lawyers.

The five detainees are among over 160 professionals who on March 9 submitted what has to be one of the gentlest pleas for political reform in recent history, which included a request to make the Federal National Council, the UAE’s powerless legislative body, at least open to universal contestation. On February 24 President Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced he was doubling the pool of eligible voters, to around 12,000. That is still less than 2 percent of the Emirati population.

(For the record, here’s what Emirati rabble-rousing sounds like: “Please We, the undersigned, a group of people of the United Arab Emirates, rise up to serve your Generous Highness and Their Highnesses Members of Supreme Council of the Federation of deep appreciation and respect…” the petition begins. “Out of our deep concern for this nation, and its people, who are your sons…” it continues. A fiery battle cry it is not.)

But even this was too much. On April 8, at 3 am, several police asked Ahmed Mansoor, one of the signatories, a blogger and a member of the Human Rights Watch advisory committee, to come down to “answer some questions about his car.” (Incidentally, this was the same approach that security officials used to take Naji Hamdan, a United States citizen who allegedly was tortured in custody.) Fearing a trap, he refused to come down, but was taken away by a second group of security officers that same afternoon.

Two days later Nasser bin Ghaith, a prominent Emirati economist and lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of the University of Paris-Sorbonne, was also carted away. His ostensible crime was urging the UAE, on television shows and in panel discussions, to become more transparent, as a means to further economic development. In subsequent days, three other online activists, Fahad Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali al-Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, were arrested. In the weeks that followed, the government dissolved the boards of two of the country’s oldest civil society organizations, the Jurists’ Association and the Teachers’ Association, for signing a similar petition.

continue reading The Nation

Posted in Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, Ahmed Mansoor Human Rights Dubai, Amnesty International, Democracy United Arab Emirates, Dubai Government, Fahad Salim Dalk, Human Rights Activst UAE, Middle East Unrest, Nasser bin Ghaith, Samer Muscati, United Arab Emirates, Unrest Middle East | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Democracy and Human Rights-Middle East Unrest – Repression in the United Arab Emirates

 
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