Human rights defender Osama Al-Najjar detained in Emirates

March 20, 2014

On 17 March 2014 UAE human rights defender Mr Osama Al-Najjar was arrested as he returned home from visiting his father in prison. Front Line Defenders states that he was held at his home for approximately three hours before being brought to an unknown location by state security forces. No charges have been brought against the human rights defender thus far. Osama Al-Najjar is the son of one of the so-called UAE94 – 94 individuals including human rights defenders sentenced to 7 to 15 years imprisonment on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. Osama Al-Najjar’s father is serving eleven years in prison. The son lobbies for detainees’ rights and disseminates information regarding conditions and ill-treatment particularly via social media websites. He has also appeared on television and given talks on the case of the UAE94. It is alleged that this arrest is directly related to his online activism.

[On 16 March 2014 Osama Al-Najjar responded, on Twitter, to remarks made by the Ruler of Sharjah during a radio interview that families of the UAE94 should not fill their children with hate and malice against the country. The human rights defender tweeted, “your highness, the doctor, we do not hate our country and we do not forget injustice we faced even if our mothers forgot it. Those who were unjust to my father carry 20 months of unfair jail and harassment on their conscience”]

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