Rashid Omran Ali Obaid Al-Shamsi, born in 1977, is a journalist, founder, and president of the Smart Media & Management Foundation for management and media consultancy. He is the editor-in-chief of the electronic magazine "Sennaria" specialized in communication, relations and marketing, and he is considered one of the most important researchers and bloggers in the UAE. In addition, he used to write a column in Al Khaleej newspaper.
Due to his social activity in writing critical posts and articles to support freedom and reform in the UAE and to fight all intimidation means, Al-Shamsi become a source of dissatisfaction for the UAE authorities, who spared no effort to place various restrictions against him and confiscated his passport with no legal reasons.
His apprehension and trial
Against the backdrop of the campaign Twitter activists, including Al-Shamsi, launched entitled “Their Ramadan is with Us” calling for the release of detainees before Ramadan, the UAE security forces stormed Al-Shamsi workplace on July 16, 2012 without an official arrest warrant and took him to an unknown place until he appeared before court.
Appearing before court, he looked miserable and in a bad health condition. He complained of solitary confinement, cold air conditioning, and being forced to take pills of unknown origin, which confirms his appearance in an unstable psychological state, as well as preventing him from legal representation and family visits.
These violations affected his family as well, as the authorities kept interrogating his wife, delayed renewing the ID cards of his family, and placed a travel ban against them.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced 56 people, including Al-Shamsi, to 10 years imprisonment with additional 3 years of probation on charges of being affiliated with a secret illegal organization. He was brought before court as a member of the “UAE 94” group.
The human rights organizations stated that the trial of Al-Shamsi and the "UAE 94" group as unfair trail that lacked all the standards of fair trials. It witnessed a violation of the UAE and international human rights law during which a final ruling was issued without the presence of any material evidence against the detainee, considering his social activity a terrorist crime. The judge ignored his statements that he was subjected to torture and ill-treatment. They failed to investigate into the enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention he was exposed to. All of that makes the trial a farce that does not comply with any legal obligations under international conventions against torture.
Human rights reports keep monitoring violations against the detainees’ rights. Rashid, as one of them, is placed in solitary confinement in Al-Razeen prison, in a narrow room without a bed. deprived contact with the family except for short periods and under constant surveillance, which negatively have a negative impact on the psychology of the detainee.