The Gulf Center for Human Rights has called on the entire international community, particularly the United Nations mechanisms and especially the relevant special rapporteurs, to intervene immediately to secure the prompt and unconditional release of Detainees of Conscience who have served their sentences.
The Center called on the UAE authorities to close the counseling centers in the UAE, release all persons detained there except those whose sentences have ended, and repeal the wording of Article 40 of the Anti-Terrorism Law No. 7 of 2014, which allows persons to be detained in counseling centers without charge or court order and indefinite periods of up to years . .
In its urgent appeal to the United Nations mechanisms to work for the release of Detainees of Conscience, the Center protested the persistent and willful failure of the UAE authorities to release prisoners of conscience and to keep them in detention long after their sentences have expired.
According to the Gulf Center for Human Rights, the UAE authorities have decided not to release any of the members of the Emirates 94 group and refer them to the Counseling Center, meaning that they will be held indefinitely if they do not agree to the terms.
The center added that the state security apparatus is conducting a process of forced negotiations with Detainees of Conscience, including forcing them to appear in the official media to denounce their human rights work and show remorse in exchange for their release.
The center clarified that 17 prisoners are languishing in the counseling center despite having already served their sentences and passed the actual date of their release. However, UAE authorities refuse to release them as they pose a threat to national security and need to be rehabilitated, and they have been transferred to the counseling center.
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The center, citing reliable sources, said that the Emirati authorities have told the Detainees of Conscience, who are to be released in the coming months and by September next year, that they will not be released ,but will be subjected to the so-called counseling programs.
The center pointed out that the UAE authorities are using Article 40 of the 2014 Law for Combating Terrorist Crimes No. (1), which contains a vague and broad definition of terrorism, to indefinitely detain Detainees of Conscience who have served their sentences, even though they are peaceful and have not committed any crime.
According to the Center, UAE authorities detain Detainees of Conscience after they have served their sentences because they allegedly pose a threat to the security of the state and need to be rehabilitated.
Prisoners who are to be released are often transferred from Al-Razeen Prison to the Munasaha Center, which, despite its name signifying tolerance, is merely another wing of the same prison, but isolated from the other wings.