A United Nations rapporteur referred to as on the United Arab Emirates Friday to instantly launch 5 human rights campaigners detained since 2013.
Mohamed al-Mansoori, Hassan Mohammed Al-Hammad, Hadif Rashed Abdullah al-Owais, Ali Saeed Al-Kindi and Salim Hamdoon Al-Shahhi had been amongst a gaggle of 94 legal professionals, rights advocates and teachers accused of plotting to overthrow the Emirati authorities.
In July 2013, 69 of the defendants within the “UAE-94” case had been sentenced, eight of them in absentia, as much as 15 years in jail.
The detentions got here amid Abu Dhabi’s crackdown on an Islamist association referred to as al-Islah and different activists calling for political reform within the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
“They should have never been detained in the first place for legitimately exercising the freedoms that all people are entitled to,” stated Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the state of affairs of human rights defenders.
Lawlor referred to as the 5 activists’ sentences “excessively severe” and famous that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared their sentences arbitrary.
She famous allegations that the rights defenders have been subjected to lengthy intervals in solitary confinement, which may quantity to torture. Other allegations embrace jail guards shutting off the air-con amid scathing scorching temperatures and overlaying home windows to stop the prisoners from getting daylight.
The prisoners have severely restricted or no entry to authorized counsel, Lawlor stated, doubtlessly violating their proper to a good trial.
“I call on the Emirati authorities to release these human rights defenders from detention in order to continue their meaningful and necessary human rights work,” Lawlor stated.