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UAE pardons ex-Muslim Brotherhood leader Al-Suwaidi

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan listens to closing remarks during the closing ceremony of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Kuwait's Bayan Palace on December 15 2009.
United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Kuwait's Bayan Palace 15 December 2009 [REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee]

UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has pardoned former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Abdulrahman Bin Subaih Al-Suwaidi who was convicted in the "secret organisation" case.

Emarat Al Youm reported that "the decision came after Al-Suwaidi discovered that the group had planned to destabilise the UAE's security and so he decided to revoke his allegiance to it and return to his homeland."

Al-Suwaidi was arrested by authorities in Indonesia in 2015, despite his request for political asylum after leaving the UAE.

According to human rights reports, following his deportation Al-Suwaidi was severely tortured and remained forcibly disappeared for more than 100 days before appearing in the Federal Court in 2016.

The Federal Court later sentenced him to 15 years in prison for signing a document calling for political reform.

In mid-2017, Al-Suwaidi appeared on an official UAE channel to confess and claiming that Qatar had offered passports and funds to the group's leaders.

However, activists questioned Al-Suwaidi's confessions, saying they were made under threat.

International human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say detainees in UAE jails are systematically abused and many have been tortured.

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