The Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC) regrets that the Emirati authorities have detained Amina Al Abdouli and Maryam Al Balushi, two Emirati nationals, for the sixth consecutive year after they were retried while in prison, and that a new court ruling has been issued imprisoning them for a further three years as a result of their appeals to international organizations.
EDAC stresses that the new court ruling issued against Amina and Maryam by the Federal Court of Appeal on 28 April lacks any solid legal basis and does not legitimize their detention and does not change the fact that it is an arbitrary detention in violation of international law.
EDAC also stresses that the sending of audio recordings of Maryam and Amina to mandate holders under the United Nations Special Procedures does not constitute a crime and falls under the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Therefore, the detention sentence imposed on them by the UAE judiciary is a clear retaliation against them for seeking help from the international community.
EDAC deplores the inconsistency of the UAE authorities. While the UAE proclaimed the so-called "Week of Tolerance and Coexistence" at the Dubai Expo, it continues its revenge policy against activists and human rights defenders.
EDAC calls on the UAE authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Amina and Maryam, to stop the revenge policy against detainees of conscience and human rights defenders, and to demonstrate their true commitment to tolerance through actions and not words.
The Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC)