Emirati imprisoned academic Issa Moaded Abdullah Al-Sari is continued to be held in UAE jails behind his release date for 160 days.
On 17th July 2022, Al-Sari had completed his 10-year prison sentence he received over his human rights activism. Since then, he was held without a legal basis to so-called “counselling centres” (or “Munasaha centres” in Arabic) inside prison facilities.
Issa Al-Sari is the former director of the General Education Department at the Ministry of Education, and president of the Emirates Teachers Association.
He was detained by the UAE security forces on July 17, 2017, while traveling to Oman as part of a crackdown campaign launched by the State Security Apparatus against reform advocates.
He remained in enforced disappearance for eight months in an unknown location, until he appeared before court in the grossly unfair mass UAE 94 trial.
In detention, Al-Sari was subjected to torture, ill-treatment and medical negligence as he was placed in solitary confinement and prevented from family or lawyer contact.
Instead of being released upon the completion of their sentence, many prisoners are transferred without a legal basis to so-called “counselling centres” (or “Munasaha centres” in Arabic) inside prison facilities.
Officially used to “guide and reform” those convicted of terrorist offences, these counselling centres are increasingly employed as a political tool to silence dissent, under the pretext that political prisoners pose a “treat” to the state and society. Those who have been transferred to such centres have not been charged with any offence, therefore they are not able to appeal a judicial verdict.
This practice allows for the government to hold prisoners indefinitely without due process in order to repress human rights activists’ freedom of expression in the UAE.