Geneva, on July 17, 2019
On July 17, 2012, the State Security forces arrested Dr Mohammed Al-Roken in Dubai while on his way to Dubai police station. He was about to report the disappearance of his son Rashid Mohammed Al-Roken, and his son-in-law Abdullah Al-Hajiri, both abducted a few hours earlier. Dr Al-Roken was arrested without a warrant and taken to an undisclosed location where he remained for months with no contact with the outside world.
His trial was opened in March 2013 along with 93 other defendants, most of whom were members of the reformist group of Al-Islah. The State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court issued its final verdict on July 2, 2013, ending the grossly unfair trial commonly known as the “UAE 94” trial. Dr Al-Roken was sentenced to ten years imprisonment and banning him from practising as a lawyer.
In its Opinion No. 2013/60, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) stated that the detention of sixty-one detainees within the case of the UAE 94 was arbitrary and urged the government of the UAE to immediately release them and provide them with full reparation.
Dr Mohammed Al-Roken is a lawyer and a human rights activist, who served as president of the UAE Bar Association between 1998 and 2004 and 2010-2013; he also received the Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Award in 2017 and the 2012 Alkarama Award. His devotion to human rights and the role he played in defending countless victims and prisoners of conscience made him one of the most prominent human rights defenders in the UAE. Dr Al-Roken was also among the signatories of the 2011 reform petition calling for political reforms.
After seven years of arbitrary detention, the prominent lawyer is still held at Al-Razeen prison in deplorable conditions. On a regular basis, the prison administration arbitrarily deprives him of appropriate medical care and places him in solitary confinement. Dr Al-Roken is also often prevented from family visits, subjected to humiliating searches and many other violations.
The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights expresses its full support to Dr Mohammed Al-Roken and renews its demands for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr Mohammed Al-Roken.
The Centre further calls upon the UAE to open an impartial investigation into the victim’s allegations of torture, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention. The authorities should hold accountable all those involved in these human rights violations, and grant Dr Al-Roken full reparation.
The ICJHR urges the government of the UAE to allow Human Rights bodies, trade unions, associations of lawyers, human rights organizations and other relevant bodies, to visit Dr Mohammed Al-Roken in prison to assess his detention conditions.
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