Dr. Hadef Rashid Abdullah Nasser Al-Owais, born in 1958, is an Emirati lawyer working in the field of human rights. He was the head of the law department at the College of Sharia and Law at the United Arab Emirates University as well as the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
Dr. Hadef holds several degrees, including
- PhD in Law from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom (1989)
- Master of Laws from Harvard University, USA (1985)
- Master of Laws from the University of San Diego, USA (1984)
- Bachelor's degree in Sharia and Law from the United Arab Emirates University (1981)
Dr. Hadef Al-Owais has represented many international and local companies and individuals in Dubai, the UAE federal courts and arbitration committees. He has written many articles and research papers published in legal journals and has represented the UAE in several joint cooperation committees with several countries. Not to mention, he was a member of the International Court of Arbitration, and a member of the International Association of Constitutional Law.
Due to his defense of political detainees in the UAE, Al-Owais has become the target of the authorities, as he was arbitrarily arrested and subjected to enforced disappearance with no legal reasons.
His apprehension and trial
On September 11, 2012, The UAE security forces arrested the lawyer and human rights defender Dr. Hadef Al-Owais. He was placed in an unknown place until his appearance in the court. He was subjected to insults, torture and solitary confinement, and he was prevented from legal representation or visiting his family.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced 56 persons, including Al-Owais, to 10 years imprisonment with additional 3 years of probation. He was brought before court as a member of the “UAE 94” group.
It has been reported that he was subjected to various forms of physical and psychological assaults at Al-Razeen prison. He was not allowed to see any visitors, nor was he offered proper health conditions. Also, he was repeatedly placed in solitary confinement.
Al-Owais denounced the attacks and the lack of respect he experienced, as he is a member of the judiciary in the Emirates.
He objected his arrest as he stressed the invalidity of the charges brought against him and his colleagues among the prisoners of conscience due to the lack of material and moral basis for the judgments issued against them.