The UAE authorities' decision to transfer 13 Emirati Detainees of Conscience whose sentences end later this year to the so-called "counseling program" under the pretext of "terrorist threat" is the prelude to an illegal extension of their detention period, which is considered arbitrary detention in violation of international law.
We - the Emirati Detainees Advocacy Center (EDAC)- condemn the UAE authorities' insistence on their approach to detain prisoners of conscience whose court sentences end indefinitely, based on flimsy legal justifications and pretexts aimed at suppressing freedom of expression and silencing the mouths of peaceful oppositionists.
Extending the detention of prisoners indefinitely after their sentences have expired shows a blatant disregard for the rule of law. Detainees all have lives and families to return to and should not be held indefinitely.
We also call on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations mechanisms, represented by the Special Rapporteurs and their respective teams, to address the UAE authorities and urge them to immediately end the indefinite detention of detainees of conscience and to exert pressure by all means to release prisoners whose sentences are about to end.
We call on human rights organizations around the world to oppose this grave violation and organize legal and media campaigns to force the UAE authorities to end the arbitrary detention of prisoners without any legal control or restriction.
Finally, we call on the UAE authorities to unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience and to stop using international efforts to combat terrorism to indefinitely detain detainees of conscience.