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Activist arrested for criticising governor of Sharjah

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 25 March 2012 - ANHRI condemns the arrest of activist Mohammed Abdul Razzaq Al-Siddiq by the Al-Sharjah Emirate police.

The activist was arrested at dawn on Sunday 25 March from his home after he published a statement on his Twitter page criticizing the latest statements by the Governor of Sharjah, Sultan Al Qassimi. The governor had declared that he will not tolerate what he called “traitors with hidden loyalties” in a clear reference to those critical of the current regime of the UAE.

Al-Siddiq stated on his personal Twitter page :

“The police are at my door and want to enter the house. My beloved brothers, if I am arrested would you raise a voice for me?"

Following this tweet, further information about the police breaking into his home and arresting him without any stated reason became known.

It is worth noting that Al-Siddiq is one of the seven advocates of reform whose Emirati nationalities were revoked in December 2011, after they signed a petition for reform directed to the ruler of the UAE in March 2011, calling on him to undertake reforms in the legislature and to ensure a fair election of the National Council members. This was considered an offense by the authorities, who decided to strip them of their UAE nationality, in a clear violation of all human rights conventions, signed by the UAE, which forbids revoking the citizenship of a person or a group of people on racial, ethnic, religious or political grounds.

“What was done by the United Arab Emirates towards Mohammed Al-Siddiq and all the seven advocates of reform, particularly revoking their nationality, is entirely unacceptable. How can it seem right to punish a thought or a view by revoking one's nationality and accusing them of betrayal?,” said ANHRI.

ANHRI calls for the immediate release of Al-Siddiq and all prisoners of conscience in the UAE, the reconsideration of the revoking of their nationality, and ensuring they receive a fair trial.
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