Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned over recent reports that scholar of economics Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith, who has been detained incommunicado since August 2015, is experiencing ill treatment in prison and is not being assured due process by the authorities.
SAR understands that UAE state security forces arrested Dr. bin Ghaith on August 18, 2015 and brought him to an undisclosed location where he has been denied access to his family, lawyer and medical treatment. Although the authorities have not publicly stated the reason for his detention, reports indicate that his arrest came just days after he posted a series of tweets critical of human rights conditions in Egypt. On April 4, 2016, Dr. bin Ghaith was granted a hearing at which he was not permitted to speak with his lawyer in private and reported experiencing ill treatment and torture during his detention. The authorities have reportedly scheduled a second hearing for May 2; however, if convicted, Dr. bin Ghaith will not be granted an appeal.
SAR calls for letters, emails, and faxes ahead of next week’s hearing respectfully urging the UAE authorities to investigate the situation and to secure Dr. bin Ghaith’s release or, pending his release, disclose his current location and the charges against him, and to ensure his right to due process and his well-being while in custody.