The young truck driver was interrogated about his role in the uprising occurring in Syria and his links with the Syrian rebellion. He was further questioned about the names and the identities of people he knew participating in demonstrations in Syria, the background of these people, their goals and their supporters. They also asked him about the activities he had had during his stay in Iraq between 2003 and 2004, following the US military intervention. The victim denied all allegation of him being affiliated to a "terrorist" organization whether in Iraq or in Syria.
Mr Al Abood was then transferred to Al Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi, where he was kept in solitary confinement for 9 days. He stayed in detention without any further legal proceedings until 22 January 2012, date of his first court hearing, more than 8 months after his arrest.
In May 2012, he was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment on declarations extracted under torture. On 27 June, he began a hunger strike to protest against the verdict and his unfair treatment. His family told Alkarama they were very concerned about his health as he was transferred two days ago to a local hospital.
Alkarama calls on the Emirati Authorities to respect their obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights' article 5, and relevant domestic laws, that no one may be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This is explicitly set out in article 26 of the Emirati Constitution: "[n]o person shall be subjected to torture or to degrading treatment." We also underline the UAE's obligation to ensure that Mr Al Abood's ongoing detention and treatment is in conformity with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which it is clearly not at present. The Emirati authorities should investigate the allegations of torture suffered by Mr Al Abood and retry him in a trial that meets national and international fair trial norms or immediately release him.
Today, Alkarama sent an urgent appeal to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to request its prompt intervention regarding Mr Al Abood's situation.
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