In a clear violation of human rights treaties, the UAE authorities continue to hold dozens of political detainees and subject them to administrative detention without charge in what it calls rehabilitation centres.
On July 22, 2022, the sentence against the political detainee Abdel Salam Darwish, head of the Family Reform Centre in Dubai Courts, finished after spending 10 years in prison only for calling for political reforms in the country.
His wife, Awatef Al-Rayes, shared a Tweet saying, “After my husband completed his 10-year sentence in Al-Razeen prison in Abu Dhabi; Two more months of arbitrary detention were added to his detention”, adding, “Yesterday, a session to extend his detention was scheduled on 9/21/2022 under the pretext of counselling, which is nothing but arbitrary detention, or the so-called administrative detention. However, until now, no one has spoken to him about the nature of this counselling.”
Al-Rayes had said in previous tweets, “Today, 7/22/2022, my husband completed 10 years since he was kidnapped from the street in Ramadan after Tarawih prayers on 7/23/2012 by unidentified individuals, without any judicial warrant, and they took him to an unknown place which was a secret prison of the intelligence service.”
She added, “After torturing him for about 8 months; He was presented to a mock trial to be arbitrarily sentenced to 10 years in prison.”
“I have been waiting since the early morning to receive a call from my daughter in the Emirates with news of the release of her father, but unfortunately my daughter told me with great pain that he was not released, and that she called Al-Razeen prison, but no one answers.”
His wife added “Until this moment, my husband, who completed his 10-year sentence, has not been released. Which law governs this state? Where neither the law nor the politicised judgment of the court is respected? Do the Emirates work according to the law of the jungle (force above the law), or is it a banana republic?”
The detainee, Abdel Salam Darwish, is the head of the Family Reform Center in Dubai Courts. He submitted the ideas of counselling centres, which have achieved great success in Emirati society, as the divorce rate in Dubai decreased from 42% to 21%. A number of Arab countries sought to apply the same experience with his help.
On July 24, 2012, in a campaign against reformers in Emirates, the UAE authorities arrested Darwish after Tarawih prayer, while he was on his way home, and charged him in a case known as “UAE 94”.
Darwish was subjected to enforced disappearance in solitary confinement for 8 months since his arrest, during which his family was unable to receive any information about him until 21 days after his arrest, via a short phone call. His family could not visit him until 4 months after his arrest, and he remained in a secret detention centre until he was transferred to Al-Razeen Prison on March 9, 2013.
On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced Abdel Salam Mohamed Darwish Al-Marzouqi to 10 years in prison with an additional three years of probation.
For many years, the Emirati authorities have been imprisoning hundreds of peaceful and human rights activists, who are calling for political reform and democratic elections.
International human rights reports accuse the UAE regime of arresting hundreds of people for expressing their opinions on charges of “terrorism and its financing”, and it continues to detain dozens of them despite the end of their sentences, in clear violation of international law.