14 Sep 2017 - 3:01
3 Qatari citizens tortured in UAE lodge complaint
Three Qatari victims have lodged a formal complaint to London’s Metropolitan police in respect of three senior UAE officials for their alleged role in the arrests, illegal detention and torture.
Qataris were arrested and tortured from 2013 until March/May 2015, when they were finally released as a result of an agreement between the UAE and Qatar. The complaint with supporting evidence was lodged on September 12. It requested the police to investigate and arrest the UAE officials if they travel to the UK for alleged crimes of torture under Section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
This provision criminalises torture if committed in the UK or abroad and irrespective of the nationality of the alleged perpetrator. Two of the victims were allegedly forced while in custody to record under torture and duress false confessions to various charges of sedition and defamation against the UAE with false promises of being released.
They were not released after these ‘confessions’, and were only set free in March and May 2015, respectively, following an agreement between the UAE and Qatar. At the time of their release, in order to avoid any deterioration in relations with the UAE, the Qatari government settled the matter amicably and compensated its citizens. The forced confessions were never made public.
The Qatari citizens are now seeking both to clear their names and reputations and also to bring out the truth of their ordeal in prison in the UAE. The details of their extended time in captivity is set out in their statements that will be provided to the police, and as summarised in the attached timeline. They will be available next week in London to answer further questions. They are now being represented by Rodney Dixon QC of Temple Garden Chambers.
It is worth noting that the UAE has ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 19 July 2012. However, there have been many reported cases of torture in UAE prisons including of UK nationals who have been held in custody in the UAE. The Complainants Dr Mahmoud Abdul Rahman Al Jaidah, a physician and Director of Medical Services at Qatar Petroleum and Hamad Ali Mohammed Ali Al Hammadi, personal assistant to the Head of Qatar’s State Security Service lodged the complaint. The third complainant Yousef Abdul Samad Al Mullah works for the Ministry of the Interior in the General Directorate of Passports.