Ahmed Saqr Muhammad Obaid Al-Suwaidi, born in 1965, is the vice Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Dubai Award for the Holy Qur’an, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Manarat for Educational Consultations. He holds a BA in Arabic language from the College of Arts at the United Arab Emirates University. He held several key positions including:
- Director of the Islamic Scientific Institute in Ajman
- Director of the Islamic Scientific Institute Center for Teaching Adults
- A teacher of the Arabic language for 8 years
His apprehension and trial
Due to his support for the reform call in the country and his signature on the Third of March Petition, on July 30, 2012, the UAE security forces arrested Al-Suwaidi while driving his car. He was arrested on Sharjah Airport Street with no charges or a legal arrest warrant. Then, he remained in enforced disappearance until he appeared before court.
Wholesale violations were committed against Al-Suwaidi as he was denied his right to legal representation, and his request to give his family a mandate was rejected. Plus, no one was provided any information his condition and whereabouts for months.
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.
In Al-Razeen Prison, known as the Prison of Conscience, Al-Suwaidi is subjected various forms of torture and inhumane practices, including denial of visits for long periods, prevention of going out for exercise, and confiscation of personal items such as books, pens and papers. Plus, they threaten to place him in solitary confinement each time he objects something against the poor conditions.
His trial lacked all the standards of a fair trial as it witnessed several legal infringements, most important of which the denial of the victim’s right to legal representation. They did not consider his statements that he was subjected to degrading treatment and violence, and failed to investigate into the interrogations circumstances and forged confessions in the case file.
Several human rights organizations considered the arrest of Al-Suwaidi is a backward step in the history of the UAE in human rights as the authorities did not abide by the international laws and conventions against torture.