An independent inquiry must be launched in to allegations of torture in UAE prisons, a UN representative said.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul criticised “violations” and a “lack of transparency” in the judicial procedures in the UAE, where dozens of Islamists were prosecuted in recent months on charges of conspiring against the regime.
Speaking at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Knaul said she wasn’t allowed to visit prisons or meet with certain detainees during her nine-day fact-finding mission that ended on Wednesday.
In a preliminary report, Knaul urged the UAE to “establish an independent committee to investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment in detention.” She called on the state to “redouble efforts to allow access to justice, in particular to vulnerable groups, such as migrant and domestic workers”.
Kanul told reporters that she possess “information and credible evidence” about detainees who were arrested without a court order, blindfolded and transferred to unknown places. Some were held incommunicado for months, others were put on “electric chairs”.
On July 2, the state security court sentenced 69 Islamists linked with the Muslim Brotherhood to between seven and 15 years in prison on charges of forming a secret organisation aimed at overthrowing the government.
The court acquitted another 25 defendants in the same case, including 13 women.
The court is now prosecuting 30 people, including 14 Egyptians, on charges of forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell.
Human rights organisations have accused the UAE of torture against some of the Islamist detainees, an accusation the UAE denied.