After Assad's visit to the UAE

Press release: concern over the possibility of AbuDhabi deporting or handing over a Syrian detainee to Damascus

28 Mar 2022
Press release: concern over the possibility of AbuDhabi deporting or handing over a Syrian detainee to Damascus

The Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC) expresses its deep concern that UAE authorities may handover Syrian human rights defender Abdul Rahman Al-Nahhas to the Syrian regime or deport him, which could put his life in grave danger.

The Center emphasizes that any cooperation by the UAE government in handing detainees over to a regime that engages in murder, arbitrary detention, and torture, and lacks a fair and transparent judiciary, is a serious violation of the principles of international law because it endangers the lives of those prisoners.

The Center stresses that the evidence and files presented by the Syrian regime cannot be trusted, even if they are based on judicial rulings, because this regime is accustomed to fabricating criminal charges against opponents to cover up political rivalry, the same charges that led to unjust death sentences or long prison terms against opponents.

The Center points to the record of the UAE authorities in handing over a number of human rights activists who fled political persecution in their countries, but the UAE authorities, instead of providing them protection, arbitrarily arrested them and sent them back to their countries where they were subjected to torture and persecution, as in the case of the handover of activist Loujain Al-Hathloul to the Saudi government by UAE authorities.

We again call on the Government of the UAE to comply with its international human rights obligations and refrain from forcibly returning detainees to their countries of origin, where they may face torture and ill-treatment, in violation of international law, which explicitly states that a citizen may not be handed over to his country if he will be harmed.

The Center calls on the United Nations, civilian forces, activists, and human rights defenders around the world to oppose attempts to cooperate with a repressive regime. It holds the UAE government fully responsible for the safety of Syrian citizen Abdul Rahman Al-Nahhas and demands that his lawyer and family be allowed to visit him and not handover him.

The Center also calls on the UAE government to immediately release the Syrian activist without preconditions or restrictions, and also demands that his family be allowed to visit and contact him without restrictions and that he be granted all of his rights, such as treatment and medication, especially in light of some news the Center has received about the deterioration of his health and mental condition due to the circumstances of the arrest.

Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center
28th- March- 2022