Author Topic: Bahraini citizen in United Arab Emirates subjected to Enforced Disappearance  (Read 1086 times)

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Offline mayya

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Bahraini citizen in United Arab Emirates subjected to Enforced Disappearance

Press Release

12/06/2013

Salah Yafie, a 33-year-old Bahraini citizen, has been held incommunicado at an unknown location in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since his arrest in Dubai on April 26th 2013. It is believed that Yaife is being held due to his membership of a reform society in Bahrain and his use of Twitter to defend the 94 Emirati political dissidents currently on trial in Abu Dhabi.

Yafie is a Qatar University graduate, specialising in education and self-development, and regularly travels between the Gulf States due to his work, which is based in Qatar. Following his arrest Yafie had his passport seized and was allowed to make a short phone call before being taken to an unknown location where has remained since.

When making the short phone call, Yafie called a Bahraini Member of Parliament who told locally based activists that Yafie sounded frightened and upset on the phone. Since the phone call Yafie has had no contact with anyone, prompting fears for his health and treatment at the hands of authorities who have been consistently accused of torture in recent months.

In a letter to the Emirates Centre for Human Rights, local activists expressed their concern for the safety of Yafie and called for the case to be highlighted in order to pressurise both the Bahraini and Emirati governments into acting to protect this individual.

Yaife is a member of the Bahraini al-Islah society, which is a legal group in Bahrain that operates in the charity and educational sectors. Over the course of the past year many of al-Islah’s members in the UAE have been arrested and put on trial in a case known as the ‘UAE 94’. The trial of the UAE 94 has been labelled as fundamentally unfair by various human rights groups and seen allegations of torture go uninvestigated.

Activists in Bahrain have told the Emirates Centre for Human Rights that they have attempted to contact their government regarding this case but have been met with a wall of silence.

We believe that Salah Yaife is suffering an enforced disappearance, due to his location remaining a secret, UAE officials refusing to acknowledge that they are detaining him and the fact that he has not been in contact with anyone since his arrest.

The on-going detention of Salah Yaife is indicative of the collective security being deployed by Gulf States to repress political activists calling for meaningful political reforms. In so doing, these regimes have consistently been accused of torturing activists and detained vast numbers of individuals without access to legal representation, family visits or a fair trial.

We call upon the UAE authorities to immediately disclose Yaife’s location, allow him to contact his family and provide access to a lawyer. Authorities must either charge or release him and, if necessary, swiftly bring him to trial. Yaife joins a growing list of political prisoners in the UAE, with a total of 128 leaving the tiny Gulf State with one of the highest per capita rates of political prisoners in the region.