News ID: 103209
Publish Date : 31 May 2022 - 22:16
DUBAI (MEMO) – An international rights group has urged the United Arab Emirates to “immediately” release 10 men who were being arbitrarily detained beyond their jail sentences.
They were being kept in detention “on the pretext of ‘counter-extremism counseling’”, according to Amnesty International.
“My father has completed his sentence, and yet after all these long years, he is still locked up in prison for an indefinite period, not subject to any law,” a son of one of the prisoners told Amnesty.
Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director Lynn Maalouf said the continued detention of the individuals is “the latest example of how UAE authorities weaponize the justice system, undermine the rule of law, criminalize peaceful dissent, and silence anyone who disagrees with them”.
“These men have already spent a decade behind bars for daring to speak out against the Emirati authorities or being perceived as political opposition, and now this injustice is being prolonged past their long-awaited release dates,” Maalouf said in a statement.
“UAE authorities must immediately release anyone detained beyond the completion of their prison sentence, and cease the unlawful practice of arbitrarily extending prison terms.”
The 10 UAE citizens were among 69 nationals arrested in 2012 and jailed in 2013 for up to 15 years on charges of plotting to overthrow the government, in a trial known as the “UAE 94” case.
The “UAE 94” case was a mass trial - the largest in the history of the country - in 2013 involving 94 people including 13 women who were accused of trying to overthrow the Emirati government, a charge the defendants vehemently denied.
Riyadh Urged to Reverse Death Sentence  
Meanwhile, United Nations legal experts urged Saudi Arabia on Monday to reverse a death sentence imposed on Abdullah al-Huwaiti, a man who was convicted for alleged crimes reportedly committed when he was a minor.
In May 2017, Huwaiti - who was 14-years-old at the time - was detained by police officers from his home in the northwestern city of Tabuk, and convicted of allegedly shooting a policeman during a robbery of a jewelry store. 
He was held incommunicado for four months and denied access to a lawyer. He was interrogated under torture, including being whipped with electrical wire and was beaten to the point that he could not walk for days, according to rights groups.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court overturned his sentence in November last year, however, Huwaiti was retried by a Tabuk criminal court under qisas - a form of retributive justice that allows the family of the victim to demand a death sentence, diya (monetary compensation), or offer a pardon. 
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