Four businessmen who were arrested in the United Arab Emirates today face a secret trial in Abu Dhabi Supreme Federal Court.
Deighton Pierce Glynn instructed Geoffrey Robertson QC of Doughty Street Chambers to prepare a legal opinion. It finds that their treatment of 4 businessmen breaches international law. Salim Alaradi, a dual Canadian and Libyan nationality was arrested at a Dubai hotel whilst on a family holiday in the middle of the night, and held for 17 months without charge and tortured. Along with Kamal and Mohamed Eldarrat (dual US nationals) and Issa al-Manna (Libyan), Alaradi faces a secret trial in Abu Dhabi on Monday 15 February 2016 on charges of supporting terrorism. It seems, the only evidence against them is confession evidence obtained by torture. If, as expected, the Supreme Court convicts them, they face sentences between 10 years and the death penalty, with no right of appeal.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has been investigating the case and will today issue a new report with robust findings that the UAE is responsible for the torture and arbitrary detention of the 4 men, there is no legal basis to justify their detention, that they should be immediately released and compensated.
Deighton Pierce Glynn partner, Sue Willman, said: “British, Turkish, and Palestinian citizens have also contacted us in the past year and reported torture in the UAE. It is time for the UK Government to make it clear to its partners in the Gulf that it can no longer tolerate such flagrant breaches of basic human rights”.
Andrew Slaughter MP, Shadow Justice Minister, who has highlighted the UK’s silence on international human rights violations by the Gulf States like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia said: “This case rings a warning bell to the UK Government, which is sending international development funds to UAE to support the development of legitimate institutions, and selling them large quantities of arms”.