United Arab Emirates: Dr. Khalaf Al-Romaithi, a member of the UAE94, has been subjected to enforced disappearance


The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) announces its deep concern about the fate of Dr. Khalaf Abdulrahman Al-Romaithi, a member of the UAE94 group and a businessman, who was forcibly disappeared in Jordan amid conflicting reports about what happened to him.

On 07 May 2023, after being detained for many hours upon his arrival in Jordan, he was allowed to enter the country with a Turkish passport on a bail of 3,000 Jordanian dinars.

Then on 10 May 2023, the Jordanian authorities forcibly disappeared Al-Romaithi, who was sentenced in absentia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 02 July 2013 for 15 years as part of the unfair trial to which all members of the UAE94 group were subjected. The trial lacked the most basic international standards necessary for a fair trial and due process. The only charge under which he was convicted was his refusal to be a witness against fellow detainees.

Reliable sources confirmed to GCHR that the security authorities in Jordan arrested him on 08 May 2023, and he was brought before a Jordanian court that held a hearing on 09 May 2023. The court considered his extradition request submitted by the UAE authorities, and decided to cancel his bail. He was imprisoned and his trial was postponed until 16 May 2023, to declare a verdict. All observers expect that the verdict will be to approve his deportation to the UAE, and to hand him over to the notorious State Security Apparatus, where he will most likely face ill-treatment and torture in its dark basements.

Some reports stated that on 10 May 2023, the Jordanian authorities had already deported him to the UAE outside the framework of the law on a private plane, and added that tomorrow's trial hearing will be a sham, while other reports confirmed that he is still on Jordanian soil without information being available about his place of detention.

Al-Romaithi, a businessman who is 58 years old, has dual Emirati and Turkish nationalities, holds a PhD in Business Administration and has held several administrative positions within the UAE. He is one of the founding members of the Abu Dhabi Charitable Authority.

GCHR condemns the Jordanian authorities' arrest of Dr. Khalaf Al-Romaithi and their relentless efforts to deport him to the UAE, where he faces certain imprisonment and torture. GCHR calls on the UAE authorities, if they have already detained Dr. Al-Romaithi after his deportation, to release him immediately, as he did not commit any crime, but served his people and his country efficiently and sincerely.

The Turkish government should make serious efforts to ensure that Dr. Al-Romaithi, who holds Turkish citizenship, is returned as soon as possible to Turkey, which is his place of work.