Araweelo News Network
London(ANN)-The Metropolitan police are investigating accusations of torture against UAE officials after a complaint was filed by Qatari nationals last year, Al Khaleej Online revealed today.
The three Qatari citizens appealed to Scotland Yard’s war crimes unit last September through the UK’s powers of universal jurisdiction over serious crimes, accusing 10 senior Emirati officials – including a government minister and a senior security adviser – of authorising torture and illegal imprisonment between 2013 and 2015.
Universal jurisdiction enables certain serious crimes including torture to be tried in UK courts even if it was committed abroad against a non-British national.
“We have provided evidence to the police of the treatment my clients experienced and confidentially the names of suspects in the UAE authorities who should be investigated and arrested if they enter the UK on the basis of the available evidence,” Rodney Dixon QC, who represents the men, told MEMO.
“Torture is prohibited under UK law no matter where it is committed and even if perpetrated by foreign nationals. The maximum sentence on conviction is life imprisonment.”
The three Qataris, Mahmoud Al-Jaidah, Hamed Al-Hammadi and Yousef Al-Mulla, were detained upon their arrival in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 and 2014. One was held for more than two years, and they were all eventually released in early 2015.
The men claim they were beaten, subjected to electric shocks, hung upside down, drugged, kept in solitary confinement and threatened that they would be killed.
56 year-old doctor Al-Jaidah was accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in the Kingdom. He was sleep deprived and threatened with electric shocks until he was forced to sign a 37-page false confession.
“The torture I was subjected to was unbearable and anyone would have recognised anything under these circumstances, but I did not know what was written in the papers I signed,” said Al-Jaidah, who continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Yesterday, the UAE’s human rights record was scrutinised at the UN in Geneva, with the country being called upon to end practices of torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and to uphold rights around freedom of expression.
According to UN bodies and rights organisations, in recent years there has been a substantial increase in practices of arbitrary detention in the UAE. Despite the evidence, Emirati Foreign Minister Anwar Gargesh yesterday denied the existence of any such practices in the country.
The UAE is part of the Gulf blockade against Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, which the country denies. The Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have ceased all diplomatic and economic ties with the Gulf country since June.