DUBAI (Dispatches) – A Lebanon-based human rights group has filed a complaint in France against a senior UAE official who it says is responsible for the torture of a well-known imprisoned Emirati activist.
The GCHR filed the complaint against Major General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, inspector general at the UAE interior ministry, at a Paris court on Monday.
The complaint alleges that Raisi, who is also a member of Interpol’s executive committee, was responsible for “torture and barbaric acts” against UAE dissident Ahmed Mansoor, the group’s lawyer, William Bourdon, told the AFP news agency on Friday.
Mansoor was taken from his home in 2017 by men in black balaclavas, with his family being told nothing of his arrest. He was brought to court nearly a year later and sentenced to 10 years in jail and a fine of one million dirhams ($272,300) after being ‘convicted’ under anti-terror laws of criticizing UAE authorities and tarnishing the image of the country on social media. In December 2018, his final appeal was rejected.
Amnesty International describes Mansoor as a prisoner of conscience.
Now held at the notorious al-Sadr prison, GCHR says that he is being imprisoned under “mediaeval conditions” while being kept in solitary confinement in a tiny cell “without access to a doctor, hygiene, [or] water and sanitary facilities”.
Raisi is regarded a possible figure to become president of France-based Interpol when candidacies are presented at the international police body’ general meeting in November.
Furthermore, a senior official with the United Nations called upon the UAE government to immediately release five distinguished human rights defenders, who have been held behind bars in harsh conditions over the past eight years.
Abdullah al-Owais, Ali Saeed al-Kindi and Salim Hamdoon al-Shahhi are part of the UAE94, a group of 94 prominent human rights lawyers, academics, student leaders and teachers.
They were charged with founding, organizing and administering an organization aimed at overthrowing the Emirati government during a grossly unfair mass trial on January 27, 2013.