Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center

Ahmed Al-Zaabi

Defender of Human Rights

متوفر باللغة

Detainee Timeline

  • July 2, 2013

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

  • March 4, 2013

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

  • 2012

    He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment with a fine of 500 dirhams and passport confiscation on charges of impersonating a judge

  • August 2012

    He was kept in prison despite the fact he was to be released on bail

  • March 26, 2012

    The UAE authorities arrested him on charges related to falsifying his passport

  • March 3, 2011

    Signing the Third of March petition

Ahmed Yousef Abdullah Bouabtaba Al-Zaabi, born in 1965, is a former judge and director of the Judicial Inspection in Abu Dhabi. He holds a PhD and MA in Islamic Sharia from Dar Al-Hadith Al-Hasaniya for Higher Islamic Studies in Rabat, Morocco, and a BA in Sharia and Law from the College of Sharia and Law in United Arab Emirates University.
Also, he is a university professor at the College of Sharia at the University of Sharjah and the College of Law at Ajman University of Science and Technology. He is a writer, researcher and participant in conferences and seminars in the Sharia and legal field and charitable work.

His apprehension and trial
On March 26, 2012, the UAE security forces arrested Dr. Ahmed Yousef Al-Zaabi on charges of falsifying the passport, claiming that he did not change the profession section to a former judge. Given that, he was detained for 4 months in an unknown place despite that he was to be released on bail. Also, he was prevented from attending court hearings except the hearing, at which he was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of 500 dirhams for impersonating a judge. His passport was confiscated.
During his detention in solitary confinement, Dr. Al-Zaabi’s location remained anonymous for his family and lawyer. In there, there was no bed or blanket with constant night lighting. He was prevented from using his medical glasses. It was reported that he was subjected to various forms of torture, including pulling his nails and severe beatings.  That caused him a number of injuries, including swollen feet and bruises in different parts of his body; sometimes he would urinate blood. Despite all of that, he was prevented from proper medical treatment. His treatment took months, and his request to be checked by the forensic medicine was rejected as he experienced infringement of physical inviolability.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced 56 people, including Dr. Al-Zaabi, to 10 years imprisonment with additional 3 years of probation on charges related to being affiliated with a secret illegal organization. He was brought before court as a member of the “UAE 94” group. 
A number of international human rights organizations expressed their dissatisfaction about the legal violations committed in Al-Zaabi’s trial. He was denied his right to legal representation, and there was not any physical evidence of the charges brought against him. Also, his statements that he was subjected to torture in detention and during interrogation were ignored. 
Al-Zaabi is still exposed to violations in Al-Razeen Prison under inhuman conditions. He is denied his right to health care and food, to visit and call his family for long periods. He is not allowed to exercise and read books and newspapers, or Holy Quran, to be completely isolated from the outside world.
Violating Al-Zaabi’s right to a fair trial in accordance with international human rights standards and international conventions against torture, the UAE infringed all their international obligations

Violations against the detainee

  • He is denied his right to health care and food

  • 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