Emirates now start targeting families of detained human rights defenders

February 22, 2013

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) on 16 February 2013 reported that it had received information that authorities in the UAE are targeting family members of human rights defenders (pictured above) currently in detention.

In recent days the daughter of Dr Mohammed Al-Mansoori has been subjected to judicial harassment while the son of Saleh Al-Dhufairi has been intimidated by state authorities. Moza Al-Mansoori, 23-year-old daughter, has been sentenced on fabricated charges of endangering the lives of others, reportedly in an attempt to put pressure on her father to desist his human rights work. On 6 February 2013 the court of first instance in Abu Dhabi sentenced her to three months in prison. Her lawyer immediately appealed the sentence and a hearing date of 24 February 2013 was given for the appeal. However, on 11 February 2013 police arrived at the home of Dr Mohammed Al-Mansoori to arrest his daughter. She was not present at the house and it is reported that she may have gone into hiding as a result of the sentence.

The sentence relates to an incident, which took place two months ago while she was at the Supreme Court, along with relatives of other detainees, to see her father. She reportedly drove through an entrance, which unbeknownst to her was not a public entrance. She was asked to move her car by the security guard, which she promptly did. Allegedly the security guard was forced by state security officials to report that he had nearly been hit by the car. As a result Moza Al-Mansoori, and the wife of another detainee against whom the charges were later dropped, were charged with endangering the lives of others. On 14 November 2012 the two women were called to report to the police and were interrogated for six hours. They were taken in handcuffs and shackles to the Prosecutor’s office where they were questioned for a further four hours before being charged and released on bail.

On 13 February 2013, Hassan Al-Dhufairi – son of detained human rights defender Saleh Al-Dhufairi – was called by the Security office at the Immigration Department of Ras Al-Khaimah to report to them the following day to “update his information”.  Hassan Al-Dhufairi responded that he was not able to do so as he was working but offered to send his brother in his place as he has power of attorney to act on his behalf. He also offered to alternatively report to the office in May when he was on leave from work. The authorities insisted that he report to them the following day but he repeated that he was not in a position to do so. Furthermore, according to information received, Hassan Al-Dhufairi has been followed by cars over the past two weeks allegedly occupied by state officials.



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