Adel Matar, the father of Jordanian detainee in the UAE, Baha Matar, appealed to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) to pardon and release his son, who has spent more than 6 years in UAE prisons so far.
In a new video clip obtained by the Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC), Matar said that he and Baha's mother are suffering from physical and mental illnesses due to their son's imprisonment, as he is the sole breadwinner of the family and they have not been allowed to see him for more than 6 years.
Matar described the rulers of the UAE as a people of forgiveness and tolerance, stressing that he was hopeful that the honourable sheikhs of the UAE would forgive his son and release him.
Matar's appeal to MBZ comes after new information was received confirming that Baha's hunger strike was suspended after the UAE authorities promised to respond to his demands for better treatment and allow him to contact his family again.
Baha Matar and two Jordanian detainees, Abdullah and Yasser Abu Bakr, went on hunger strike 20 days ago to protest poor prison conditions and harsh treatment by UAE authorities. The UAE authorities have subsequently transferred them to penal wards and threatened them with harsh punishments if they continue their hunger strike.
It is worth noting that the three Jordanian detainees in the UAE, as well as a fourth, Maher Abu Al-Shawareb, were arrested in 2015 based on messages in their WhatsApp group that included messages and video clips about the war in Yemen and ISIS. Abu Dhabi charged them with "promoting a terrorist organisation by posting and possessing public photos and videos." The court decided to gaol them for 10 years and pay them one million dirhams each.
Despite repeated attempts by their families to demand their release, and human rights and media campaigns calling for their release, nothing has changed in their case.