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Indonesia condemned for deporting asylum seeker to UAE

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR) has condemned Indonesia’s decision to hand over UAE national Abdulrahman Al-Suaidi to Emirati intelligence officers following his abduction in a secret operation involving security officials from both states.

According to AOHR, Al-Suaidi’s lawyer was told by police in Indonesia’s Batam Province that he had to report to the detention centre where the human rights activist was being held on Friday, 18 December. The authorities were, apparently, on the verge of releasing Al-Suaidi, whose custody order had expired. The lawyer was also told that his client could follow up his application for political asylum at the UN offices in Jakarta. However, when the lawyer arrived at the detention centre, he was told that Al-Suaidi’s release had been postponed until the following day. On Friday evening, though, five UAE and six Indonesian intelligence officers abducted the UAE national from the police station and took him to Hang Nadim Batam Airport where he was put on a flight for Abu Dhabi.

AOHR condemned the move and stressed that this was a violation of both Indonesian law and the 1951 Geneva Conventions on the rights of political refugees. Al-Suaidi, the AOHR notes is a member of Al Islah Movement and was among a group of its members sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. The rights group expressed its serious concerns that the UAE authorities will torture Abdulrahman Al-Suaidi, especially as his current whereabouts remain unknown and neither his family nor his Emirati lawyer have been allowed to visit him. The AOHR said that it holds the UAE and Indonesian authorities fully and jointly responsible for his safety.

Urging the UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture and Enforced Disappearances to intervene immediately to enable Al-Suaidi’s lawyers and family members to visit him, the AOHR also called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ask the Indonesian government about its breach of international law.

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