The Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center (EDAC), the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch urgently appeal to United Nations special procedures, UN Member States, and the European Union to call on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to drop recent abusive terrorism charges against at least 84 Emiratis. The defendants include many prisoners previously tried in the mass trial in 2012 to 2013, the UAE94 case, of whom the majority are now arbitrarily detained past the end of their sentences including GCHR’s Board member Ahmed Mansoor and academic Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, as well as others in exile. The case is all the more shocking given that the first hearing began while the UAE was hosting the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
None of the accused are alleged to have committed any new crimes, but are now on trial in connection with charges related to membership in a group for which they have already been tried. According to the Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center (EDAC), authorities charged 43 of the men with establishing a “terrorist organization” and at least 41 with supporting and funding a “terrorist organization,” charges that carry sentences of up to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
On January 6, 2024, the state news agency officially announced the trial and the new charges against the 84 defendants – a month after the first hearing took place – stating that the defendants concealed evidence of the crime of “establishing another clandestine organization for the purpose of committing acts of violence and terrorism” on state territory.
Read more: hrw.org