Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center

UAE judges are victims of arrest and abuse

03:49
17 Feb 2022
العربية
متوفر باللغة

Despite the immunity granted to members of the judiciary by UAE law, which protects them from arrest or investigative action against them unless they have the permission of the Supreme Judicial Council, this immunity was not enough to protect them from the campaign of arbitrary arrests launched by UAE authorities in 2012 against advocates of peaceful and democratic reform.

Like other groups in Emirati society, members of the judiciary and the prosecution were subjected to a campaign of arbitrary arrests and unfair trials that targeted the elite of Emirati society, including human rights activists, university professors, academics, teachers, and lawyers.

The number of members of the judiciary and prosecution who were arrested or convicted as part of the collective proceedings in the case (UAE 94) is five out of 69 Emiratis who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

They are Counselor Ali Al Kindi, Judge Mohammad Al Abdooli, retired Judge Ahmed Al Zaabi, member of the Public Prosecution Tariq Al Qassem, and Dr. Hadef Al Owais, member of the Judicial Committee at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre.

Counselor Ali Al-Kindi is considered one of the most prominent judges currently detained, as Al-Kindi was one of the judges of the State Council, and was an assistant counsellor in cases brought against the UAE before the federal courts, a judicial position equivalent to the attorney general in the United States, and he was also the Secretary of the Emirati Jurists Association, which was dissolved by the UAE authorities.

Al-Kindi was arrested on September 10, 2012, by a force affiliated with the UAE State Security Apparatus (SSA), without being charged or showing a legal arrest warrant. He was forcibly disappeared for many months until his appearance in the first sessions of the (UAE 94) collective trial.

On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced Al Kindi to 10 years in prison with an additional 3 years of probation.

Human rights and international bodies condemned the arrest and trial of Al-Kindi for his dedication to serving his country. Al-Kindi spent many years defending the UAE and its decisions, and was the legal representative of the state and government figures in 10 different courts.

Among the prominent judges, who were included in the campaign of arbitrary arrests, is the judge and head of the criminal department at the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal, Muhammad Al-Abdouli, who was arrested on October 11, 2012 from his residence and forcibly disappeared for many months in an unknown location until his appearance in court.

Judge Al-Abdouli presented an oral argument to the court, in which he denounced the process of his arrest, which he considered a constitutional and legal crime, as he enjoys judicial immunity, adding that the legal violations against him are a distortion of the reputation of the UAE judiciary, and revealed in the pleading that he was arrested and placed in “a coffin” handcuffed and blindfolded to an unknown location, without allowing him to contact his family.

On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced 56 people, including Judge Al Abdouli, to 10 years in prison with an additional 3 years of probation.

The retired judge, Ahmed Al Zaabi, who was working as a judge and director of the judicial inspection in Abu Dhabi, was not spared from this repressive campaign. He was arrested by SSA members on March 26, 2012, on charges of “impersonating a judge and forging the passport”, because he did not update the passport data and change the profession. To "former judge".

Initially, the SSA Court sentenced Judge Al-Zaabi to 6 months in prison, confiscated his passport, and fined him 500 dirhams for impersonating a judge.

On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced Dr. Al-Zaabi, to 10 years in prison with an additional 3 for probation in the case (UAE 94), following a farcical trial that lacked the minimum standards of justice, and included torture and falsification of evidence against him.

The arrests launched by the UAE authorities were not limited to judges only, but also extended to members working in the Public Prosecution. Tariq Al-Qasim, who held several positions in the Public Prosecution, such as Director of the Criminal Cases Department, and Director of Quality Management at the Public Prosecution in Dubai, was one of the victims of the arrests campaign.

A force affiliated with the SSA arrested Tariq Al-Qassem on July 19, 2012 in front of a mosque in Dubai. His daughter confirmed that her father had been arrested and contact with him was cut off immediately after the arrest. Al-Qasim remained in an unknown location until he appeared in court.

On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced 56 people, including Tariq Al-Qasim, to 10 years in prison with an additional 3 years of probation.

Dr. Hadef Al Owais, an Emirati academic, who was working as a member of the judicial body at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, was one of the victims of the campaign of arrests that affected the members of the Emirates 94. Al Owais, in addition to his membership in the International Arbitration Association, was Dean of the College of Law at Emirates Universities. He has written numerous articles and research published in peer-reviewed legal journals.

Dr. Al-Owais was arrested on September 11, 2012, and held in an unknown location for many months until his appearance in court. He was also subjected to insults, torture, solitary confinement, and was prevented from legal representation or visiting his family.

During the trial, Al-Owais presented a plea in which he revealed that the arrest warrant was issued based on information obtained under torture, and confirmed that his eyes were covered and pushed from his back in a humiliating manner, indicating that he had been placed in an illegal place, and that despite the issuance of a decision to place him in Al-Wathba prison It is not placed in it.

During his pleading, Al Owais denounced the incidents of assaulting him and disrespecting his position as a member of the judicial authority in the UAE, wondering whether Sheikh Khalifa permitted the beating of a member of the judicial authority, noting that he was not detained in a central prison, and even the chief prosecutor does not know his whereabouts, which means that the arrest It is illegal and everything that follows is illegal.

Read Also: EDAC publishes the dissertation of the detainee Dr. Al-Owais

Despite Al Owais’s plea in which he refuted all the lies attributed to him, and revealed the nullity of the legal procedures for his arrest, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced him on July 2, 2013, to 10 years in prison with 3 additional years of probation.

Many human rights groups condemned the arrest of Dr. Al Owais, including Mary Lawlor, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, who in June of 2021 condemned the violations of solitary confinement against detainees of conscience in UAE prisons, and urged the UAE government to immediately release 5 human rights defenders after they were detained for nine years in harsh conditions, Dr. Hadef Al-Owais was among those names.