Two human rights activists, Bader Hussain Al- Bahri and Abdulla Al-Helo were both arrested by state security officers on April 22, 2014 in Dubai. Until this moment, neither has been charged with any crimes.
According to sources close to Bader Al-Bahri, he was called by the Al-Qusais police station. Once he arrived at the station, he found that state security officers were waiting to arrest him. They then escorted him to his home, which they searched extensively after intimidating his family, including his children, and separating them in two rooms; one for the girls and the other for the boys. They found nothing during their searches, but took his passport and informed his family that he was being pursued by the state security services, but gave no reasons or explanations. It is worth noting that in addition to being the head of social rehabilitation at the Training and Rehabilitation Centre in Dubai.
As for Abdulla Al-Helo the circumstances of his arrest were similar to Al-Bahri’s. Eyewitnesses reported that his car was parked for several hours at the Al-Qusais police station, and then witnessed state security officers escorting him to his home for searching. He was also arrested and detained with no explanations.
Al-Bahri and Al-Helo were both taken to Abu Dhabi in the early hours of April 23rd. and were detained in a secret prison in Abu Dhabi. Such prisons allow state security forces to torture and violate detainees in order to coerce confessions from them before transferring them to state prisons.
The fact that they were taken from Dubai to Abu Dhabi without being transferred to a local judicial authority first is a violation of Article 105 of the UAE Constitution. This article stipulates that in the event that an individual is arrested in an emirate outside the arresting emirate’s jurisdiction, the arrested individual must first be brought before the public prosecutors in the emirate they are present in and their personal data must be verified before being transferred to the investigating emirate’s prosecution.
The arrest of Al-Bahri and Al-Helo is part of the UAE’s campaign of arrests against Emirati human rights activists and defenders that began three years ago.
Since their arrest 7 months ago, no charges were made against them.
In August 2014, news circulated on social media networks that some Emirati detainees detained in secret prisons were transferred to Al-Wathba Prison in Abu Dhabi; Al-Bahri and Al-Helo were amongst those transferred.
The ECHR urges the UAE authorities to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Bader Al-Bahri and Abdulla Al-Helo, as no charges have been directed against them despite being detained for 7 months.
2. Stop subjecting detainees to long periods of pre-trial detention in secret prisons especially since in most cases detainees are tortured, violated, and abused during this time.
3. Close all secret prisons in the UAE.
4. Adhere to the agreements reached during the UN Human Rights Council session in 2013.
5. Guarantee that the Emirati judiciary is unbiased and is not subject to the control of the state security agency.
For further information please contact Lara Adam on +44(0) 7473773136 or at email@example.com.