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Mohamed al-Roken – L4L letter

United Arab Emirates

On 2 June 2014, L4L sent a letter to the United Arab Emirates authorities on behalf of human rights lawyer Mohamed Al-Roken. With this letter L4L wanted to draw attention once more to the situation of Al-Roken, who has been in prison for over 18 months. Moreover, L4L called on the authorities to guarantee the physical safety of Al-Roken, for we were informed that Al-Roken had been maltreated in prison.

On 4 March 2013, 94 human rights activists from the UAE went on trial, including lawyers Dr Mohamed al-Mansoori and Dr Mohamed Abdullah al-Roken – who were arrested on 16 and 17 July 2012 respectively and their lawyer Salem al-Shehhi, who was arrested on 18 July 2012 at the offices of the State Security Prosecutor where he sought information about his clients. Many organizations that intended to monitor this trial were banned from the trial or even barred from entering the country at all. In July 2013, Al-Roken and his colleagues were sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

Recently it came to L4L’s attention that Al-Roken has been subjected to ill-treatment in prison. He has been denied the right to make contact with his family, he has been subjected to abuse and he has been held in solitary confinement for at least one week.

Background information

Al-Roken provided legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses in the UAE, including to other human rights defenders. Before he was arrested, he defended the “UAE 5” ; five human rights defenders who were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment by a UAE court for their human rights work in November 2011 and subsequently released as a result of a Presidential amnesty.

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