Najeeb Al-Amiri, a legal scholar, holds a BA in history from the United Arab Emirates University, and he is a Friday preacher, journalist, poet, lawyer, jurist, and educator. Plus, he memorized the Holy Quran by heart.
He held several positions in education:
- History teacher in Sharjah from 1985 to 1994.
- Senior history teacher in Sharjah from 1994 to 2000.
- History course instructor from 2000 to 2002.
Al-Amiri was involved in many social and charitable societies and committees. He was a member of the Teachers Association, a former board member of the Teachers ’Association, and a member of the Association of Sharia Scholars of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. In addition, he was a collaborator with the Charitable Works Authority, a former Friday sermon preacher in a number of Sharjah mosques, a volunteer at summer centres for memorizing the Holy Qur’an in the past, and a volunteer marriage officiant in Family Court.
His apprehension and trial
On July 30, 2012, UAE security forces arrested Al-Amiri from his residency in Sharjah. However, on December, 2012, the UAE authorities denied that they arrested him and kept his place unknown until he appeared before court.
During detention, he was subjected to various forms of torture and inhumane treatment. He was placed in solitary confinement with constant light for 24 hours. He was not allowed to use eyeglasses nor was he allowed to practice religious rituals. He was forced to break his fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. It was documented that he was subjected to physical as well as psychological torture, including slapping and pouring cold water, which caused him cramps that needed medical assistance.
Violations against Al-Amiri and his family continued. His wife was prevented from visiting him for months, and his whereabouts were not known until appearing before the court in the extension session for pre-trial detention. Despite his legal attorney presenting a set of demands in the investigation into the violations the detainees is facing, the authorities kept detaining him without a clear charge. All appeals were ignored, and he was brought before the court.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced a number of national figures, including Al-Amiri, to 10 years imprisonment with additional 3 years of probation for being affiliated with a secret illegal organization. He was brought before the court as a member of the “UAE 94” group.
During his detention in Al-Razeen, Al-Amiri was subjected to various forms of violations. His family was prevented from visiting him for a long time without legal reasons. He was not allowed to practice religious rituals, or to get proper treatment, as he suffered from underactive thyroid that needs a specific amount of vitamins daily.
His trial lacked the standards of a fair trial, as they extracted confessions from him under threats. He was not allowed to use legal representation nor were his statements recognized. The violations he was subjected to were not investigated into, which violates human rights international standards.