Free Salim Alaradi Campaign
Urgent Update – May 24st 2016
Minister Dion Attends GCC Meeting with UAE Counterpart
Canadian Citizen Detained in United Arab Emirates for 636Days
Updates: Salim Alaradi’s health; Update on legal case; Minister Dion meeting with UAE counterpart; US State Department
Canadian citizen Salim Alaradi’s family has been informed that Canadian officials have been denied consular access for the last several weeks leading up to his final verdict on May 30th. Each week as they arrive at the prison they are turned away. Recently UAE prison authorities have changed Alaradi’s visitation privileges to three week intervals. Alaradi does not have family in the UAE and the Canadian officials were his only communication with the outside world.
Over the last month, prison authorities have also denied Alardi access to clean water which has caused him serious medical complications. The conditions of the detainment over the last 20 months have caused Alaradi kidney and prostate failure and the prison physician early on warned against drinking unhygienic water. The lack of clean drinking water has caused Alaradi continuous severe pain due to kidney stones that have developed; Canadian officials are working to resolve this matter.
Recently Marwa Alaradi, his eldest daughter, has published an op-ed in the Windsor Star calling for his freedom on May 30th but also immediate attention to his failing health.
“The detention and torture he endured has destroyed his health physically and mentally,” says Marwa.
“He now has an irregular heartbeat. His mistreatment has exacerbated his illness. Moreover, due to the awful conditions he’s being kept under, my father is now afflicted with an eye infection, bronchitis and severe back problems from a spinal disc condition.
The water system in his prison is so unsanitary that the fluid he’s consuming has given him kidney stones, along with worsening prostate problems. He’s been banned from drinking bottled water, an option that other detainees have. He’s now unable to sit properly because of pain in his knees and back, and he’s experiencing numbness in his hands and legs.”
She called on Prime Minister Trudeau to intervene for his immediate transfer to a hospital with Canadian standards of medical care as he awaits the May 30th decision.
In another recent op-ed published by the lead lawyer for Alaradi, Mr. Mustafa Almanea very clearly summarizes the legal case to be decided upon on May 30th.
“During the home stretch of our trial before the UAE Supreme Court, right when we could smell the victory of justice, the prosecution decided to pull a legal stunt that made a true mockery of its own position. They decided to drop the terrorism allegations and to instead pin our clients with charges that were much less serious.
This shift in legal strategy showed just how preposterous the prosecution’s case truly is. We had to rebuild our defence accordingly, but later discovered that the prosecution offered zero evidence to back up their claims. Literally nothing. This means we’re left to argue against an empty-handed prosecution before the highest court in the country — a truly bizarre situation.”
Legal counsel has explained that an innocent verdict is the only plausible outcome considering no evidence has been submitted by the prosecution. A guilty verdict will be seen as manifestly unjust.
Yesterday Minister Stéphane Dion participated in the Canada-Gulf Cooperation Council Strategic Dialogue Meeting of Foreign Ministers. UAE officials were present and Alaradi’s family is hoping the case was raised with UAE counterparts and a request for due process and innocence was made.
Alradi is detained with two co-accused of American nationality. Yesterday the US State Department in its daily briefing stated that the US government is concerned about “their health, their prior lack of access to legal representation, the absence of formal charges against them in their first hearing, and frankly, the lack of consular access.” The Canadian government has not made any public statements on the case.
The family and their Canadian lawyer, Paul Champ, continue to call on the Canadian government and the international community to urgently assist in securing Alaradi’s immediate release.