Press release: Osama Al-Najjar sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and AED 500,000 fine due to a tweet
The Emirati State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court has sentenced human rights activist Osama Al-Najjar to three years in prison and a fine of AED 500,000 (approximately £87,000). He was arrested on the back of a tweet he posted on his Twitter account in defence of his father, Hussein Al-Najjar, one of the UAE 94 defendants serving a 10 year prison sentence on charges of associated with Al-Islah organisation.
The charges against Osama Al-Najjar include association with Al-Islah organisation, instigating hatred against the state, using social media to defame and criticise the state, and contacting foreign organisations and presenting inaccurate information.
Al-Najjar has been denied his right to appeal this ruling.
Such cases are proof of the UAE’s crackdown policy on all those who criticise the violations inside the state and are an attempt on its part to silence the voices of the opposition who criticise the lack of freedoms and rights in the UAE. This is also considered the UAE’s attempt to gag those who say that the judiciary is subject to the executive authority and those who call for reform.
Therefore, the ECHR calls on the UAE authorities to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Osama Aم-Najjar.
2. Form an independent committee to investigate the violations Osama Al-Najjar was subject to during his arrest and his forced disappearance, as well as the torture he suffered and prosecute al those involved in these acts.
3. Eliminate all special State Security Chambers where people are deprived of their right to appeal their sentences, just as in the case of Al-Najjar, which is a case of freedom of speech.
For more information on Osama Al-Najjar’s case, clickhere.
For further information please contact Lara Adam on +44(0) 7473773136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.