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Emirati judge, activists arrested in latest crackdown

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 14 October 2012 - ANHRI condemns the relaunch of an arrest campaign by Emirati authorities against judges and reform activists starting with the arrest of Judge Mohammed Saeed Ziab Abdouly, president of the penal circuit at Abu Dhabi's court of appeals.

His recent arrest by the UAE security forces comes at the heels of a string of arrests aimed at judges, counselors, and detained lawyers. The arrests are in violation of Article no. 52 of the federal judiciary law (3/1993), which prohibits the detention and preemptive jailing of judges except in flagrancy cases, and only after obtaining permission from the disciplinary board, which decides whether the judge should remain in detention or be released with or without bail.

UAE authorities also arrested Abdul Rahim Naqi, an expert in charity work from Ras Al-Khaimah, as well as Mansour Ahmadi, vice president of the National Emirati Union of Students and a member of a youth organization for Jerusalem. They were arrested without being given reasons for their detention or details on where they were to be detained. These arrests, the latest in a fierce campaign against activists and reformists dating back to mid July 2012, bring the number of detainees locked up in unknown locations to 64.

Hasan Mansouri, the son of one of the detainees, stated on his personal Twitter account that the detainees are locked up in two unsupervised prisons, one of which is highly known for politically sensitive detentions. Such detentions contradict with the law, wherein it is stipulated that the preventative detention period should be served under the prosecutor's supervision. Moreover, the official body in charge of these cases happens to be the Office of the President, not the prosecution.

"The renewed onslaught launched by the UAE authorities against activists and reformers is now escalating against judges. It is deemed to be a blatant violation of all international laws and conventions and an indication of the apparent confusion within UAE authorities' ranks. A large number of activists, reformists, rights advocates and lawyers, as well as one member of the ruling family, have been arrested without any clear charges," states ANHRI.

ANHRI questioned the legitimacy of the charges put forth against the detainees, suggesting they may be politically motivated. "The Emirati authorities have been using the media to launch a fierce attack against the detainees, tarnish their image and influence public opinion abroad."

ANHRI calls on the UAE authorities to immediately release the detainees in the UAE prisons or to disclose their places of detention, announce the charges laid against them, and bring them before a fair trial.

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