Dr Mohammed Al-Roken is considered a prisoner of conscience who has been imprisoned merely for calling for political reform and defending the rights of others in the context of his work as a lawyer and human rights activist.
Emirati human rights lawyer Dr Mohammed Al-Roken is currently serving a 10 year sentence, followed by three years’ probation, due to his defense of other human rights defenders and critics of the UAE government. He has also called for the establishment of human rights principles. The State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court issued this ruling in July 2013 in the context of the UAE 94 case, which charged defendants with belonging to an Islamist group and plotting to overthrow the state, among other charges. The defendants have also been denied the right to appeal this verdict.
Al-Roken was arrested on July 17, 2012 by State Security officers who forced him to stop his car while hew as on his way to a Dubai police station to report his son and son-in-law, who were arrested hours earlier, missing. His house was searched by 17 officers and many electronics, including computers, as well as his books, publications, and family albums were confiscated. His family did not know his whereabouts for three months and his lawyer’s requests for access were denied. He was later allowed access to his lawyer and family, but officers remained present during all family visits.
Dr Mohammed was deprived of his basic rights, such as access to his lawyer as well as to his case file and documents relating to the case. He was only allowed to see such documents after the second hearing of the UAE 94 trial on March 11, 2013. Al-Roken was also forced to remain in solitary confinement for long periods of time and there are fears that he has been subjected to psychological abuse.
The Emirates Centre for Human Rights calls on the Emirates authorities to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Dr Mohammed Al-Roken and drop all charges against him.
2. The formation of an independent committee to investigate all allegations of torture and for holding those responsible accountable.
3. The ECHR also calls on the UAE authorities to review its laws criminalising the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association.
For further information please contact Lara Adam on +44(0) 7473773136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.