05/31/2019

Urgent Action: Incommunicado Detainee at Risk of Torture (United Arab Emirates: UA 75.19)


Lebanese detainee Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui has been held incommunicado since 11 April 2019. He is at heightened risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui is serving a 15-year prison sentence in the United Arab Emirates on “terrorism” charges. Legal proceedings against him have been seriously flawed, including arbitrary detention, excessive pre-trial detention, forced confessions, allegations of torture, and lack of access to medical care. In April 2019, the Prosecutor pressed new speech-related charges against Ahmad following a TV news report in which his sister and legal consultant were interviewed about Ahmad’s torture and unfair trial.

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
Crown Prince Court
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
P.O. Box 124
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Fax: +971 2 668 6622
Twitter: @MohamedBinZayed
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
3522 International Court NW Suite 400, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 243 2400 I Fax: 202 243 2432
Contact form: https://bit.ly/2CrKyHz
Facebook: @UAEEmbassyUS
Twitter: @UAEEmbassyUS
Instagram: @uaeembassyus
Salutation: Your Excellency

Your Highness,

On 11 April 2019, Lebanese prisoner Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui was transferred to incommunicado detention and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. On the same day, Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui informed his sister over phone that the prosecution filed a new case against him, his sister and his legal consultant in Lebanon, on charges of publishing false information seeking to damage the reputation of the UAE. Ahmad said those were in relation to a TV news report in which his sister and his legal consultant described Ahmad’s torture and prison conditions in the UAE.

On 31 October 2016, the State Security Chamber at the Federal Supreme Court had sentenced Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui to 15 years in prison on charges including communicating with Lebanese political party and armed group Hezbollah, disclosing classified information and establishing an unauthorized foreign international group in the UAE. Ahmad informed the Public prosecutor that he was subjected to long incommunicado pre-trial detention, torture and ill-treatment including beatings on his face, ripping out his toenails, scalping, and raping him with a steel rod. However, the torture allegations were never investigated, and the court relied on the false “confessions” obtained under torture to convict him.

I urge you to quash the unreliable conviction and release Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui, unless there is evidence of a recognizable criminal offense in line with international law and standards. In the interim, I call on you to ensure that he is granted immediate and regular access to his lawyer, family, consular assistance, and any medical care he may require. I further call on you to launch an independent and impartial investigation into the claims of torture, as provided by the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and also in line with the Istanbul Protocol on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Your Sincerely,

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