Ali Salem Mohammed Al-Ghawas Al-Zaabi, born in 1958, holds a bachelor’s degree in forensic laboratory sciences. He worked as director of the Poisons and Narcotics Branch in the Ministry of Interior.
His apprehension and trial
On August 30, 2012, the UAE security forces arbitrarly arrested Al-Zaabi from house and was subjected to enforced disappearance until he appeared before court.
During detention, Ali was subjected to degrading treatment and torture. They arrested him without an arrest warrant or any legal reasons. He was placed in detention and denied visits and legal representation.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Surpeme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced a group of activists including Al-Zaabi to 10 years imprisonment with additional 3 years of probation. He was brought before court as a member of the “UAE 94” group.
Al-Zaabi’s trial was illegal in form and substance, as he was denied his right to legal representation. He was not allowed to see the case file, and his statements were not counted regarding the violations he was subjected to. A final ruling was issued amid the absence of any material evidence of the charges brought against him referring to his affiliation to a secret illegal organization.
These violations continued at Al-Razeen prison, where he serves his sentence along with other prisoners of conscience. They are inhumanely treated, placed in solitary confinement for long periods of time, and prevented to access their personal properties. They are not allowed to see the sunlight or to practice religious rituals, exerting a negative pressure on their psychological and physical health. That worsned their health to the extend they are in a need of specialized medical treatment.
Several human rights organizations considered the arrest of Al-Zaabi and others who called for reform a flagrant violation against the international conventions in the UAE.