Legal Response: Salim ALARADI … an innocent victim
The matter of the Libyan-Canadian citizen Salim ALARADI, kidnapped by the United Arab Emirates Authorities, represents a clear picture of a man who has been detained unjustly, and who from the first hours of his unlawful arrest was a victim. He is a victim, not only because he has not committed any crime but also because his human rights were violated in the most degrading way. He represents an example of the injustices and ill-treatment by the UAE authorities who acted outside of their own laws.
We will state the lack of legality of his prolonged apprehension:
- Absence of a crime:
ALARADI, a well-known businessman, has maintained a record in the UAE free of any act that could constitute a crime. He has operated a business in the UAE for several years, in accordance with the laws of the state, enjoys a good reputation, and has always been a law obedient resident.
ALARADI is an individual whose personality had no predisposition to any political ideology, has never embraced any ideology, and does not belong to any political organizations or movements. Even though freedom of expression and association is guaranteed by domestic and international laws, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ALARADI was not politically involved has been mainly driven by his entrepreneurial mindset, his principles revolved around respecting and abiding by the law, and his passion was the world of business and economy.
It is clear without a doubt that ALARADI is innocent of any wrongdoing attributed to him; in fact there are no articles in any of the UAE criminal laws that are applicable to him. Any accusation against him is a form of defamation and slander and a desperate attempt to justify what the human rights violations committed by UAE authorities against ALARADI.
ALARADI’s legal case demonstrates absolute objection to any claim made by the UAE authorities and refutes any fabrications or narratives that they may attempt to assert.
The UAE authorities, based on all actions taken against ALARADI, have acted contrary to principle of legality and the rule of law. All disputes and accusations must be resolved by applying legal rules and laws that have been in effect and enforced at the time of the accusation, if there are no applicable laws, the accused’s innocence must be declared and he must be released. This principle is internationally accepted, agreed upon and legislated by all states in their domestic laws, including the UAE.
- Violation of ALARADI’s Freedom
ALARADI has been detained for over 425 days without being referred to a fair trial, a period that breaches the maximum pre-trial detention period allowed by the Criminal Code including all allowed exceptions within the code. His detainment has exceeded all allowable periods. Is it conceivable that the freedom of a man be stripped from him for more than a year on the grounds of interrogation or on the basis of provisional detention? Clearly his detainment by all accounts is unlawful and invalid and he should be released immediately.
It is further demonstrated that the UAE authorities have committed a crime against ALARADI by restricting his liberties and freedoms through his ‘enforced disappearance’ which is an infringement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whereby no person may be arrested and subjected to arbitrary detention or punished for a crime unless after being found guilty according to the law.
Furthermore, no person may be arrested, searched, detained or imprisoned except in the circumstances and conditions set forth in the law. Also persons may only be imprisoned in designated locations for periods specified by competent authorities.
It is prohibited to harm any accused person physically or mentally, or to expose anyone to torture or degrading treatment, as stipulated by the UAE Constitution in articles No. 26 and No. 28. ALARADI has been denied the protection of such the laws; his detainment has surpassed a year and several months, with a significant period held incommunicado in an undisclosed location, without being referred to a trial.These rights are guaranteed by the constitution of the UAE, its domestic laws and further guaranteed by international laws. None of which were respected in ALARADI’s circumstances.
- Kidnapping of Salim ALARADI:
Credible information confirms that the ALARADI was detained in a secret and undisclosed location which does not operate under UAE judicial institutions. This confirms the UAE authorities violated ALARADI rights by orchestrating his kidnapping and ‘enforced disappearance’.
- Ill-treatment and torture of ALARADI:
There are a number of credible evidence provided that proves beyond any doubt that ALARADI was subjected to more than thirty methods of torture including physical and psychological techniques, directly performed by UAE authorities in order to force him to sign fabricated confessions that may be used to justify the crimes committed by the UAE authorities against him.
Any confession forcibly signed by ALARADI is void as it was obtained under torture and duress. The state laws require the UAE authorities to hold all those responsible and involved in acts of torture accountable for crimes against ALARADI, to provide compensation to him for the period he has been detained, and to immediately release him.
- ALARADI denied a fair trial:
International and domestic laws require UAE authorities to provide a fair trial for ALARADI, the UAE authorities have not adhered to the minimum required as indicated below:
- The UAE authorities are obliged by law to enable lawyers to attend interrogation sessions with ALARADI, however, he was not provided with legal representation. How can a fair trial be expected when investigation were not in the presence of his lawyer?
- One of the guarantees granted by the law is that any detainee should be clearly informed of the nature and substance of the allegations against him immediately as his interrogation begins, and that he can respond and challenge the charge. The Criminal Code Procedure states that “there mustbe a member of the public prosecutor present during the first interrogation of the accused to document all information verifying the identity of the individual, to inform him of the charge against him and to present the evidence in the record.” (unofficial translation) This did not take place with ALARADI who has remained throughout the period restricted from his freedoms, subject to various types of torture, without knowing the charge against him, possibly due the inability of the UAE authorities to find a charge that could be attributed to an innocent person.
- Months have passed without ALARADI being brought promptly before a judge and offered a fair and public trial, thus allowing throughout the past period of endless unjust investigation without any legal justification for the prolonged period. The UAE authorities are stalling presenting ALARADI in front of a judge in a fair trial as they are certain that he has not committed a crime. The delay may be to fabricate a narrative they can attribute to him as has been known in circumstances similar to ALARADI’s apprehension methods. There seems to be fear that the presence of physical torture marks and side effects of psychological abuse will invalidate all accusations and charges.
- It is ALARADI’s right to be presented to a neutral forensic doctor, to prove that he has been subjected to torture and ill-treatment which are still visible on his body which is suffering from malnutrition and other illnesses. This right will least likely be respected as the authorities would not want to evidence the torture.
Based on the above points we emphasize the innocence of ALARADI, we refute any accusation that he has committed a crime, we document that he has suffered from torture and ill-treatment, we confirm that his rights have been violated, and we demand his immediate and unconditional release. Our conclusions are based on the facts that no evidence has been brought against him, he has not been promptly brought in front of a judge, he has not been offered a fair and public trial, he has not been charged with an internationally recognized crime, he has not been allowed to retain a lawyer of his choosing to defend him without restriction, and he has not been allowed to a neutral forensic doctor to provide confirmation of his ill-treatment.