UN Experts ‘Condemn Trial’ and Release Opinion on Canadian Salim Alaradi Attracting International Attention

Free Salim Alaradi Campaign

Urgent Update – February 15th 2016


UN Experts Issued Public Statement ‘Condemning Trial’ and called for immediate and unconditional release of Salim Alaradi and others. UN Experts also issued an Opinion on Canadian Salim Alaradi on Eve of Trial Attracting International Attention of Legal Experts, Government Officials and Human Rights Activists
Canadian Citizen Detained in United Arab Emirates for 537 Days

UN Experts have released a powerful joint statement today condemning the trial of Canadian citizen Salim Alaradi. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGDA), the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health and the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers have called on the UAE to respect the fundamental rights of Alaradi and the American nationals, Kamal and Mohamed El Darat, who have been arbitrarily detained for a year and a half, and called for their immediate and unconditional release.

The WGAD has released its decision today on the arbitrary detention of Alaradi and has attracted international attention around the very questionable UAE trial of Alaradi and two American nationals.

The Working Group, which has been investigating this case since June 2015, will issue findings that the UAE is responsible for the arbitrary detention of Alaradi and it is impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the detention. It has also concluded that the norms of a fair trial have been violated to an extreme gravity such that Alaradi should be immediately released and provided with adequate and full reparations. The Working Group has noted that the UAE failed to produce any evidence or proof that lawful procedures have been followed. The Working Group has referred the allegations of torture to the Special Rapporteur on torture for appropriate action. The Special Rapporteur has already begun an investigation and in late 2015 requested a state visit to the UAE. (See summary of opinion)


This case has drawn the eyes of the international legal community and media to the Abu Dhabi Supreme Court trial beginning today.

Leading UK human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson QC has found the treatment of Alaradi breaches international law. In a published a legal opinion, he describes how a man, with 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 while held incommunicado.  He explains that Alaradi faces a secret trial in Abu Dhabi on Monday 15 February 2016 on charges of supporting terrorism.  The only evidence against him is confession evidence obtained by torture.  If, as expected, the Supreme Court convicts them, he faces sentences between 10 years and the death penalty, with no right of appeal.

“In my opinion these men have been treated by the state in ways which are manifestly contrary to international law…Their trial cannot be fair unless it is held, at least in part, in public and in that public part the judges consider impartially the allegations of torture and reject any confession obtained thereby” says Robertson.

“The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has been very clear. Salim Alaradi’s rights have been violated through close to 1 ½ years of arbitrary detention. They have also referred concerns about torture for further UN investigation,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.  “Very importantly the UN WGAD has called for these serious human rights violations to be redressed.  The unfair trial currently underway in UAE is not that remedy. That has to change.”

UK human rights lawyer Sue Willman said “In the past year I have been approached by Canadian, US, Turkish and Palestinians, all of whom spoke of the physical or mental scars of torture at the hands of the Emirati authorities.”

In August 2015 Marwa Alaradi, Alaradi’s eldest Canadian daughter, visited the United Kingdom and met with members of the British Parliament and the House of Lords. The UN Opinion has re-engaged the interest of British parliamentarians. According to the Guardian Andy Slaughter MP, Shadow Justice Minister, has said in response to the UN opinion on Alaradi: “the UK has a special relationship with UAE which should be reviewed in the light of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention report.  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”.

For over 500 days human rights groups, lawyers and the family of Canadian citizen Alaradi and the family of the American nationals have been persistent that these men are political hostages, victims of regional politics and their detainment is related to internal Libyan affairs. On the basis of an arbitrary and pro-longed pre-trial often in solitary confinement and in incommunicado; Alradi’s unwavering innocence plea on January 18th; fabricated charges that rely on tortured ‘confessions’ and secret evidence from State Security officials; a prosecution case that has presented no credible evidence of any wrongdoing; and now an independent United Nations Working Group opinion calling for their immediate release, we are calling on the Emirati judge to uphold the most basic standards of due process, dismiss the charges and send a message that torture can never be tolerated.


Information about the trial today will be released shortly.


UN Working Group Opinion Introduction and Disposition



For further details about Salim Alaradi’s situation and the progress of the case in UAE:

Paul Champ, Human rights lawyer representing Salim Alaradi
T: (613) 237-2441
E: [email protected]

Marwa Alaradi, Salim Alaradi’s eldest daughter
E: [email protected]

For comments about the UN News Release:

Ms. Amanda Flores, UN Human Rights Officer
T: + 41 22 917 9186
E: [email protected])

Ms. Sonia Cronin, UN Human Rights Officer
T: +41 22 917 9160
E: [email protected]

For comments about the case and the UN Opinion:

Geoffrey Robertson QC
T: + 44 (0) 7940 951731
E: [email protected]

Sue Willman, Deighton Pierce Glynn
T: +44 (0) 20 7407 0007
E: [email protected]

Andy Slaughter MP, Shadow Justice Minister
T: +44 (0)20 7610 1950
E: [email protected]

For further background about this case and related human rights concerns in UAE:

John Tackaberry, Media Officer, Amnesty International Canada
T: (613) 744-7667, extension 236
E: [email protected]

Monia Mazigh, National Coordinator-International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
T: (613) 241-5298
E: [email protected]

Nicholas McGeehan, UAE researcher at Human Rights Watch
E: [email protected]

Drewery Dyke, UAE Researcher at Amnesty International
T: +44 (0) 75 3558 7297
E: [email protected]



For more details about the case please visit:

Campaign Website http://www.freesalimalaradi.com/
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/freesalimalaradi
Twitter Account https://twitter.com/freesalimaradi
Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/freesalimalaradi