Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) condemned the Jordanian authorities’ facilitation of the kidnapping of Emirati-Turkish businessman Dr. Khalaf Abdelrahman Al-Rumaithi, 58, and his deportation to the UAE, which is a flagrant violation of Jordanian domestic laws and international law.
The Jordanian laws provide for fair and transparent procedures before deporting anyone, and the International law also prohibits the extradition of persons if there is a mere risk of torture, abuses and ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and unfair trial.
Al-Rumaithi was arrested on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at Queen Alia Airport upon his arrival from Turkey, following the issuance of a warrant by the Arab and international police on January 9, 2014. He was brought before the judiciary and released on bail on the same day, however, he was arrested the next day.
The mysterious and misleading measures taken by the attorney general’s staff led to his kidnapping by Jordanian and Emirati agents on Thursday morning, May 12, 2023, and deporting him to the UAE.
Al-Rumaithi left the UAE after the UAE State Security arrested a number of the Islah Movement in March 2012, and sentenced him in absentia in July 2013 to 15 years in prison.
The number of those tried in the case reached 94 people who were subjected to enforced disappearance and brutal torture. They were sentenced on fabricated charges to varying terms, including 51 people who have spent their sentence and are still in prison until now.
The abduction of Al-Rumaithi illustrates the control of the security services over the judicial system in Jordan, which makes it perform with a lack of transparency and impartiality as the law and the constitution provide.
The UAE is known for not having a fair and just judicial system and is also famous for its notorious detention centres, which are run by a security apparatus known for its brutal torture that could result in death.
It is worth noting that hundreds of detainees were subjected to torture, cruel treatment and medical neglect, some of whom died under torture.
The latest victim of death under torture in the UAE was the Lebanese detainee, businessman Ghazi Ezz El-Din, 55, who was arrested with three of his brothers and seven others in mid-March.
He died under torture on May 4, 2023, and was buried in the UAE in a semi-secret way, away from his family and without allowing a medical committee to examine his body. His family in Lebanon were informed of his death from a heart attack on May 11, 2023.
AOHR UK held the Jordanian regime fully responsible for the life and safety of Al-Rumaithi, as they are well aware of the UAE regime’s systematic torture, including the case of the Journalist Tayseer Al-Najjar who was previously arrested and tortured during his detention, and died shortly after his release of the illnesses he suffered as a result of torture.
AOHR UK strongly denounced the position of the Jordanian government for its cooperation with the UAE government and encouraged it to commit more violations, despite its imprisonment of Jordanian citizens who have been subjected to brutal violations for simply having different political opinions.
The UAE authorities are detaining a number of Jordanian citizens, including Yasser and Abdullah Abu Bakr, whose mother died last year of cancer, and she has been appealing to the concerned authorities for years to intervene to release her two sons so that she can see them. The UAE is also holding Jordanian citizens Maher Abul Shawareb and Bahaa Matar, all of whom have been detained since 2015 and face 10-year prison sentences on fabricated charges.
It is not the first time the UAE to kidnap citizens from abroad in cooperation with local agents. On December 29, 2015, the UAE state security services kidnapped an Emirati citizen from his place of detention in Indonesia, to which he sought asylum after escaping from the UAE, where he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in the case of the “94”.
The soft diplomacy pursued by the concerned international bodies in dealing with the violations of the UAE regime will not bring any reform to the human rights situation in the UAE. On May 8, 2023, during the periodic review of the UAE human rights file in the Human Rights Council, the Council recommended the UAE release all political detainees, end torture, and respect freedoms.
AOHR UK called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Human Rights Council to intervene urgently to save Al-Rumaithi’s life and reveal his fate.
It stressed that silence over the crimes of the UAE regime cannot be acceptable, as those violations remain very clear, despite attempts to conceal them by spending huge sums of money to pretend to combat terrorism and justifying violations of the rights of individuals and groups.