Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center

Muhammad Al-Siddiq

Defender of Human Rights

العربية
متوفر باللغة

Detainee Timeline

  • July 2, 2013

    He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and additional 3 years of probation

  • March 4, 2013

    He was brought before court for being affiliated with a secret organization

  • April 9, 2012

    UAE authorities arrested him without a warrant arrest

  • December 4, 2011

    UAE authorities issued a verdict to revoke his nationality under the pretext of threatening national security

  • March 3, 2011

    He signed the third of March petition

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Obaidli, born in 1964, is a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. He holds a BA in Sharia from the UAE University, and a master's degree in jurisprudence and its origins from the Sharia College in Riyadh.
He held several positions: 
- As a teacher in the Department of Jurisprudence and its Foundations at the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies at the University of Sharjah from 2001 to 2007. 
- A member of the Sharia bodies in Islamic financial institutions.
- The President of Afaq Development Foundation for Studies and Consultations in Dubai.
- Director General of the Dar Al-Khairat Foundation.
- A member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Sharia Scholars in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Al-Siddiq won many honors, including the “Citizens on the Path to Excellence” award and the Rashid Award for Academic Excellence, noting that he was a presenter and an organizer for one of the programs of the “Sharjah” TV channel. He also worked as the supervisor of the Zayed Center for Quran Memorization.
Al-Siddiq is one of the founders of the "Eslah" society in the UAE. He signed the third of March petition that was submitted to the President, demanding reforms in the legislative authority and fair elections for the National Assembly.
Due to his human rights and reform activities, the UAE authorities exerted pressure and forms of harassment against Al-Siddiq. On December 4, 2011, he lost his Emirati nationality without a judicial decision, along with 6 others due to their "carrying out acts deemed a threat to the sovereignty of the state.”

His apprehension and trial
On April 9, 2012, the State Security Agency arrested Al-Siddiq while he was summoned to the Foreign violators follow up Section in Abu Dhabi. There, he was given the choice between leaving the UAE or arrest for violating the residency law. He preferred arrest over signing a paper, giving up his nationality. Then, he was transferred to Al Sadr Prison, then to an unknown place. In 2013, the trial hearings started under the name of "UAE 94" 
Al-Siddiq was subjected to enforced disappearance for more than 9 months, from July 2012 until the start of his trial in March 2013. During his detention, he was subjected to various forms of torture, including severe beatings and death threats. His family, in return, was deprived from renewing passports and official documents to obtain their social rights, such as travel or education. Then, his son and two daughters, Omar, Asmaa, and Doaa, have lost their nationality.
On July 2, 2013, the State Security Court in the Federal Supreme Court sentenced Al-Siddiq to 10 years imprisonment and 3 additional years of probation on charges of establishing, organizing and managing an organization aiming to overthrow the ruling system in the United Arab Emirates.
His trial lacked the standards of a fair trial, witnessing legal violations, including the absence of material evidence and the failure to investigate the enforced disappearance he was subject to, the loss of his nationality, and the denial of his right to use legal representation. He was prevented from being present during the trial except for a short period, in which he showed signs of torture.
During detention, violations continued, such as being handcuffed and leg cuffed in solitary confinement all the time.  He endured inhumane circumstances, where he was prevented from going to the bathroom, or from proper health care, which resulted in his suffering from diabetes and a great loss of weight due to unhealthy food. All of his personal properties were confiscated  such as books, pens and papers. He was prevented from practicing religious rituals. To the extent, he was not allowed to attend his mother’s funeral nor was he allowed to contact his family.

Violations against the detainee

  • Violating many legal guarantees for a fair trial, such as the right of the accused to appear before a normal court, or to defend before the judiciary.

  • Not recognizing victim’s statements of being subjected to torture, which violates the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT), which UAE signed in 2012

  • Enforced disappearance, violating International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance