Thursday, July 19, 2012

UAE: Human rights lawyers among 13 detained as crackdown intensifies

18 July 2012

"The UAE authorities must immediately an unconditionally release two prominent human rights lawyers arrested in recent days, Amnesty International said.

Dr Mohamed ‘Abdullah al-Roken, a long-time Amnesty International member and a well-known human rights defender and lawyer, was arrested at 1:30 am on Tuesday as he drove to a Dubai police station to report the disappearance five hours earlier of his son Rashid Mohamed al-Roken and son-in-law ‘Abdullah al-Hajeri.

He was one of the defence lawyers in last year’s prominent case of five political activists – known as the ‘UAE 5’ – who were arrested, tried and imprisoned for defaming top UAE government officials.

He is among 13 men – including fellow human rights defender, the lawyer and former head of the UAE Jurists' Association Dr Mohamed al-Mansoori – who have been arrested since 16 July by state security officers (Amn al-Dawla).

“We believe Mohammad al-Roken and Mohammad al-Mansoori to be prisoners of conscience, held solely on account of their defence work as lawyers and other peaceful human rights activities. This is not the first time they have been persecuted for their legitimate human rights work.. They must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“The UAE authorities must halt this intensified crackdown on human rights defenders and other activists across the Emirates.”....."

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