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UAE activist sentenced to 3 years and a fine by State Security Court

Osama Al Najjar
Osama Al Najjar

Front Line Defenders

This statement was originally published on anhri.net on 25 November 2014.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns a decision by the State Security Court on November 25, 2014 sentencing activist Osama al-Najjar to 3 years in jail and a fine of half a million AED.

The State Security Court sentenced the activist in connection with his human rights activities and the solidarity he has expressed for his father Hussein al-Najjar who was detained by the security services. It is noteworthy that Osama al-Najjar was arrested on March 17, 2014 and was not brought before the court until September 23. He was accused of belonging to Al-Islah (Reform and Social Guidance Association), insulting the state through the social networking website Twitter, incitement to hatred against the state through Twitter, and spreading lies about the torture of his father, a member of the group of 94 Emiratis.

"The ongoing sentencing of activists by the UAE authorities for expressing their opinion on Twitter is a clear violation of freedom of expression in the country. The continued targeting of activists and human rights defenders because of their human rights activities is clearly undermining human rights work inside the UAE," says ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the UAE authorities to release activist Osama al-Najjar immediately and drop all charges against him. Moreover, UAE is urged to launch an investigation into the alleged torture of his father Hussein al-Najjar.

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