05/29/2019

Urgent Action Update: Verdict Issued Against Lebanese Men (United Arab Emirates: UA 38.19)


On 15 May 2019, the Federal Appeal Court in Abu Dhabi issued its verdict in the case of 11 Lebanese men – eight of whom had been detained and appeared before the Court. Abdel Rahman Talal Chouman was sentenced to life in prison, along with 3 men sentenced in absentia. Ahmed Nimr Sobeh and another man were sentenced to 10 years in prison, and five others were acquitted. The three convicted men that appeared before court, have 30 days to appeal their convictions and sentences.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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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 15 May 2019, the State Security chamber at the Federal Appeal Court issued its verdict in the case of 11 Lebanese men. Eight of them had been detained and appeared before the Court, while the other three were tried in absentia. The court sentenced Abdel Rahman Talal Chouman and three men tried in their absence, to life in prison; Ahmed Nimr Sobeh and another man to 10 years in prison; and it acquitted five others. Those convicted and sentenced who appeared before court, have the right to appeal within 30 days.

The proceedings against them did not meet international fair trial standards: there was a lack of safeguards to protect the men against torture, and confessions extracted under duress were used as evidence. During the trial, Abdel Rahman Chouman testified that he had been beaten for six hours during the investigation and forced to sign his “confession” without being allowed to read the document. He described how his head was hit against a wall and he was beaten and kicked, resulting in all his veneer teeth being broken. No investigation is known to have taken place into his claims.

I urge you to quash the unreliable convictions and release the detained men, including Abdel Rahman Chouman and Ahmed Nimr Sobeh, unless there is evidence of a recognizable criminal offense and they can be guaranteed a fair trial, in line with international law and standards. In the interim, I call on you to ensure that they are granted immediate and regular access to their lawyer, their families, consular support, and any medical care they may require. I further call on you to order the launch of an independent and impartial investigation into the claims of torture, in line with the Istanbul Protocol on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES