Today, July 16, marks the ninth anniversary of the campaign of arbitrary mass arrests launched by UAE authorities against Emirati human rights activists, lawyers, judges and academics.
The campaign of mass arrests, which began on 16 July 2012, was accompanied by a media smear campaign against the detainees led by state officials, and was then followed by the unfair mass trial known as "UAE 94", the largest political trial in the country's history.
Arbitrary arrests and mass detentions have been condemned by human rights and international organizations, most notably by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, when it issued Opinion No. 60/2013, in which it stressed that the arrests were arbitrary and called for the release of detainees held in illegal detention facilities where they were subjected to various rights violations From enforced disappearances and eight months of incommunicado detention, in addition to torture, beatings and deprivation of the right to communicate with their families in order to elicit statements from them that were later used to convict them at trial.
To this day, most of the detainees are still detained and subjected to harsh conditions in Al-Razeen prison, although some of them finished their sentences more than two years ago.
Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC) calls on the UAE authorities to stop the practice of arbitrary arrests and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees of conscience.
EDAC also calls on the UAE government to demonstrate its true commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms by conducting an independent investigation into the conditions of the political trials and enforced disappearances and the systematic torture that accompanied the arrests.
Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC)