Ahmed Ghaith Ahmad Ghaith Al-Suwaidi, born in 1960, is an economist in the UAE, as he was the chief budget monitor at the Ministry of Finance. He holds a master's degree in economics from the University of Southern California, USA, and a BA in petroleum engineering from the University of Southern California.
Eng. Ahmed worked as a teaching assistant at the United Arab Emirates University and later as a director of the strategic planning office in the Department of Finance, Government of Abu Dhabi, in addition to his membership in preparing and managing the budget in the General Administration of the Finance Department.
Due to his activity in calling for reform and his affiliation with Eslah society, Al-Suwaidi became a target of harassment from the authorities. On December 4, 2011, a verdict to revoke nationality was issued without a court ruling against 7 citizens, including him. Also, his passport was confiscated and was banned from traveling.
His apprehension and trial
On March 26, 2012, the UAE security forces arbitrarily arrested Al-Suwaidi without an arrest warrant. He was subjected to enforced disappearance for a year, during which he was denied his right to legal representation.
During his detention, it was reported that Al-Suwaidi was subjected to inhumane treatement and various forms of torture. He was placed in solitary confinement without a bed and cover in an attempt to force him to sign forged confessions containing a number of serious charges against him.
In his first appearance before the court, Al-Suwaidi revealed that he had been threatened with death if he did not sign the charges against him. He also added he was subjected to various forms of torture including, hanging him on an iron bar and pouring cold water on him. Also, he stated that he was repeatedly treated in a degrading manner, which was clearly reflected on his health, who suffered severe weight loss and the inability to stand up straight.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced 56 people, including Al-Suwaidi, to 10 years imprisonment with additional 3 years of probation. He was brought before court as a member of the “UAE 94” group.
His trial witnessed a number of legal violations including not considering his statements that he was subjected to arbitrary detention, torture and severe insult to his physical inviolability, and the denial of his right to legal representation. Also, the final ruling was issued in the absence of any material evidence against him. This makes it a mere mock trial that has this retaliatory trait against prisoners of conscience.
Al-Suwaidi was subjected to enforced disappearance again during the course of the trial before he was transferred to Al-Razeen prison. The authorities sometimes place him in solitary confinement without legal justification and subject him to physical and psychological violence by placing him in a narrow cell without ventilation and with constant lighting. He was not allowed to have visitors nor was he able to contact with his family. The ugliest thing the authorities have done is the fact that they prevented him from attending his father’s funeral.