Prominent Emirati human rights activist, Nasser Bin Ghaith, yesterday announced that he had begun an open hunger strike in protest against his imprisonment.
Bin Ghaith said in an open letter from prison that he rejects the Federal Criminal Court of Appeals’ verdict against him, adding that he had hoped for a fair trial despite the pre-trial violations and abuses that accompanied it.
The verdict reveals that there is no place for free opinion in the country. What have been tried are not deeds, but rather my freely expressed opinions, which are guaranteed by international law and the constitution.
The Emirati academic denied the charges against him.
He pointed out that his decision not appeal the ruling is based on the conviction that “this procedure will not change anything; rather it will give legitimacy to a politicised ruling”.
The hunger strike will continue until he is released and his family are allowed to leave the country, he explained.
At the end of March, the UAE Federal Criminal Court of Appeals sentenced Bin Ghaith to 10 years in prison for Tweets he published criticising the Egyptian and Emirati authorities.
A coalition of 10 human rights organisations has called on the UAE authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally.