17 February 2014

(London) Some of the most senior lawyers in the UK have signed an open letter in the Law Society Gazette calling for the immediate and unconditional release of members of the legal establishment in the UAE who have been imprisoned and tortured by the authorities.

The 41 signatories, who include the President of the Law Society, the Chair of the Bar Council, and the respective chairs of the Human Rights Committees of both institutions, in addition to 7 prominent QCs, wrote the letter in response to a scathing report by the UN which also found that the judiciary in the UAE was under the de facto control of the government.

The lawyers expressed specific concern about the plight of human rights lawyers Mohammed al-Roken, Mohammed al-Mansoori, as well as Qatari physician, Dr Mahmoud al-Jaidah, in whose case the verdict is to be announced on 3 March. All have complained of arbitrary detention in solitary confinement and torture.

Fahad Ansari, Caseworker for CAGE, stated:

"For many years now, the UAE has been able to carry out such gross human rights abuses with impunity because of the artificial prism of liberalism and modernity that the public  views it through. We hope that this letter, signed by the most senior lawyers in the land, will send a powerful message to the authorities there that the world is watching and will not remain silent."

"The UAE should heed the words of the UN and Britain's legal establishment and release all its political prisoners immediately, beginning with those whose only crime was to fulfil their legitimate professional duties. We also urge the authorities to cease the prosecution of Qatari physician, Dr Mahmoud al-Jaidah, due to the systematic failures to guarantee him a fair trial."



Notes to Editor:
1.       CAGE is an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror. The organisation highlights and campaigns against state policies, striving for a world free from oppression and injustice.

2.       The letter from the lawyers can be viewed here and a full list of signatories can be seen here.

3.       The UN Special Rapporteur' s report on her findings of her 9 day visit to the UAE can be read here.

4.       CAGE have been in correspondence with the UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers and wrote this letter to her during her visit to the UAE



Contact:            Mr Cerie Bullivant

Phone:              +(44) 207 377 6700

Email:              press@cageuk.org

Web:                cage.ngo



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(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)