Oman: Oman / United Arab Emirates: Emirates State Security transfers Omani blogger Muawiya Al-Rawahi to notorious Al-Wathba prison

31.05.15

The latest reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) confirmed that the Emirates State Security Apparatus has transferred prominent Omani blogger Muawiya Al-Rawahi to the notorious Al Wathba prison, where he was placed in solitary confinement. He has been detained incommunicado since February. Despite repeated attempts by his family and his colleagues, the UAE authorities have reportedly refused to disclose his whereabouts and refused to give any reason for his arrest, in addition to not revealing any specific charges against him. 

On 24 February 2015, Muawiya Al Rawahi, was stopped by the UAE security intelligence agents at the border and was not allowed to return back to Oman. He managed to make contact with a fellow human rights defender and told him that he had been stopped. Since then he has remained in incommunicado detention and there are serious concerns for his safety.

For more information, please read the following appeal issued by the GCHR on 16 March 2015:

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/946

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) believes that the detention of Muawiya Al-Rawahi is directly related to the exercise of their right to freedom of opinion and expression and views it as another example of the restriction on these rights in UAE. The GCHR expresses its serious concern for the safety of Muawiya Al-Rawahi particularly given that nothing is known of his whereabouts.

The GCHR urges the authorities in the UAE to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Muawiya Al-awahi as his arrest is solely related to his peaceful on-line activities;
  2. Immediately disclose his whereabouts and grant him unfettered access to a lawyer and his family;
  3. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Muawiya Al-Rawahi;
  4. Guarantee in all circumstances that on-line activists and all human rights defenders in the Oman & UAE are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. 

The GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to article Article 6 (b and c): “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (b) As provided for in human rights and other applicable international instruments, freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms; (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”, and to Article 12 (1 and 2): “(1) Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. (2) The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”