Emirati activist Abdulrahman Bin Subaih Al-Suwaidi was sentenced to 10 years in prison for unknown charges by a court in Abu Dhabi yesterday, according to human rights organisation International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE (ICFUAE).
Al-Suwaidi is among many Emirati activists who campaigned for widespread socio-political reforms during the Arab Spring.
He was first tried in 2013, along with 94 other activists, after a nation-wide crackdown on human rights campaigners, or anyone who expressed dissent, in a controversial trial commonly referred to as #UAE94.
Al-Suwaidi was trialled in absentia as he fled the country in 2013 and later applied for asylum in Indonesia. On 18 December 2015, Al-Suwaidi was arrested by Indonesian police before he was handed over to the UAE authorities.
“The man was applying for asylum when he was arrested by Indonesian police for his illegal entry into the country. He was later cleared of the charges and was waiting to be released when Indonesian and Emirati agents seized him from Batam police station after a request from the UAE Interpol,” ICFUAE said in a press release.
“He was then deported back to Abu Dhabi where he was forcibly disappeared for months, held in a secret location without access to a lawyer or contact with the outside world. The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) condemned his deportation and disappearance as illegal.”