United Arab Emirates: UAE: Arrest of Human Rights Defender Saleh Al-Dhufairi


Beirut, 7 March, 2012 -- On 6 March 2012, at 1am,  human rights defender Saleh Al-Dhufairi was arbitrarily arrested at his home in Ras Al-Khaimah. There was no arrest warrant issued, and no reasons were given for the arrest but the Dubai Police issued a press statement immediately after his arrest stated that the activist Saleh Al-Dhufairi has been arrested on charges of promoting the ideas that will provoke sedition and harm the national unity and social peace. The statement also said that he will be referred to the Attorney General after 48 hours. According to other information received by the Center, the activist Saleh Al-Dhufairi is now being held by Dubai Police and have not been allowed access to his lawyer.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights opposes the arrest and detention of Saleh Al-Dhufairi for expression of his beliefs. We further regard the issue of a press statement by the Dubai Police on the arrest of a private citizen for matters concerning free speech as an act of public intimidation.


The Gulf Centre for Human Rights believes the arrest of human rights defender Saleh Al-Dhufairi is directly related to his human rights activity and the legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of expression. The GCHR also sees the arrest as a definite continuation of the trend of targeting human rights defenders by the government of the UAE.


The GCHR calls on the authorities in the UAE to:

-Immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Saleh Al-Dhufairi;

-Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in UAE are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights calls your attention to the rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed in 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” in particular to Article 5 (b) which states that: For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (b)To form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups;”  Article 6 (c) “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (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 12.2, which provides that “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”.



Please write immediately in English or in Arabic:


• To express your concern about the arrest of human rights defender Saleh Al-Dhufairi;

• • To urge the authorities in the UAE to immediately stop the targeting of human rights defenders;

• • • To express your concern and refusal to the severe suppression of the legitimate rights such as freedom of expression, assembly, and association by the UAE authorities of its citizens, in particular the activists;

Please Send Appeals now TO:

Vice-President and Prime Minister

H.H. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum

 Office of the Prime Minister

POB 2838



Fax: +971 4 3531974

E-mail: info@primeministre.ae


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior

 H.H. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

 POB 398

Abu Dhabi


Fax: +971 2 4414938  


Minister of Foreign Affairs

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahya

POB 1 

Abu Dhabi


Fax: +971 2 4447766


Minister of Justice
His Excellency Dr. Hadef Jawa'an Al Dhaheri
Minister of Justice
POB 753

 Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
Email: moj@uae.gov.ae

Fax: +971 2 681 5155


The Gulf Centre for Human Rights is an independent centre and has been registered in Ireland. The Centre works to strengthen support for human rights defenders and independent journalists in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.