Target: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Goal: Investigate wrongful imprisonment and trial of peaceful protesters by the United Arab Emirates
Authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Beirut have been accused of committing a variety of criminal trial violations. The case in question is a highly publicized trial of a group of 94 individuals, all critics of the current government. Allegations of torture and various pre-trial abuses are being lobbed at the UAE from a handful of activist groups, from Human Rights Watch to Amnesty International.
These individuals were charged with creating an anti-government organization that seeks to overthrow the current administration. This goes against government law, yet, the evidence compiled is scant and most of the detainees have a history of operation within the group Reform and Social Guidance Association, a non-violent association of anti-government peaceful protesters. While the group is non-aggressive, governments don’t generally like their critics and have an incentive to silence them.
One of the main complaints regarding the UAE is that they are violating pre-trial laws by banning public access to the trials. Many of the individuals on trial have not even been allowed to see their families. Not only is this a violation of international law, but enshrouding this trial in secrecy only raises questions as to the true nature of this mass tribunal — especially since all of these individuals are known critics of the current government.
The UAE has also been accused of violating the due-process rights of at least 64 of the individuals. New information points to their unlawful detainment in covert locations for a year prior to their trials. As stated by Human Rights Watch, “Many of the detainees did not have access to legal assistance until late February. When they did finally meet with their lawyers, a representative of the state security prosecutor was in the room and within earshot, in violation of the requirement under international law for confidentiality in conversations between lawyers and clients.”
One victim of the proposed torture tactics of the UAE is Ahmed al-Suweidi. This individual was detained in secretive state facilities for years with no access to any kind of outside avenues of communication. His physical and mental conditions had markedly deteriorated over this time. Regardless of the proposed acts of torture, the man still insists his innocence and asks for the safety of his family.
Generally, when something is hidden from the view of the public, it is worth concealing — at least for those doing the concealing. In this instance, a group of anti-government activists are being tried in secrecy by the very government that has been the object of their criticisms. The government has an incentive to shut their mouths for good. Sign below to show your support for the investigation into the trial of these 94 activists.
Dear Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
The 94 activists currently on trial in Beirut are reportedly undergoing an unlawful tribunal. The United Arab Emirates has been accused of various violations of trial code from torture, to unlawful detainment of individuals, to preventing family members and non-biased journalists from experiencing the hearings.
Many human rights groups are calling for the rectification of these proposed issues and these 94 individuals need justice. The accusations against them seem to be simply fueled by the fact that they have spoken out against the government on several occasions. It appears as though this trial has been convened based on some trumped up charge of conspiracy, of which no evidence has been compiled to support. Please investigate these accusations so that justice may be done.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Hibr via Flickr