Oman: Oman / UAE: Mother of blogger Muawiya Al-Rawahi calls on authorities to provide medication for her son

25.06.15

On 20 June 2015, Fatima bint Mohammed bint Nasser, the mother of Omani blogger Muawiya Al-Rawahi who is detained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), sent an appeal to the competent authorities in the UAE and Oman to facilitate the provision of necessary medication for her son.

She wrote in the letter that on 18 June, during her visit, she handed over the prescription issued by the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, to the administration of Al-Wathba prison, where Al-Rawahi is detained. She said she "is very concerned for his health if he is not given the medication regularly." She added that "any country in the world is responsible for the provision of health care and provide medication for prisoners in its jails."

On 24 February 2015, 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 remained in incommunicado detention for a long time until recently when the State Security Apparatus permitted his mother to visit him. There are serious concerns for his safety due to the bad reputation of the notorious Al-Wathba prison.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) expresses grave concern at the continuing detention of Al-Rawahi and believes that not providing him with his medication violates the provisions of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. The GCHR believes that the detention of Muawiya Al-Rawahi is directly related to the exercise of his right to freedom of opinion and expression and views it as another example of the restrictions on these rights in UAE.

The GCHR urges the authorities in the UAE to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Muawiya Al-Rawahi, as his arrest is solely related to his peaceful on-line activities;
  2. Immediately grant him unfettered access to proper medical care;
  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 Recognised 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 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.”