Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith, a U.S.-educated economist, was detained in the UAE and has been held for criticizing Egypt and the UAE online. He has been held since August 2015 in an unknown location. CCS has written several times on bin Ghaith’s behalf. His trial will start on June 28th.
June 6, 2016
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum
Vice-President and Prime Minister
Prime Minister’s Office
P.O. Box: 212000
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Fax: +971 4 330 4044
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world. We write today to express our grave concern for Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith, a U.S.-educated economist who is currently on trial while being held incommunicado.
Dr. bin Ghaith is being put on trial for exercising his basic human right to free expression. Specifically, he is being prosecuted for posting online criticisms of UAE officials and the Egyptian government. These peaceful exercises in free speech have been transformed by the prosecution into charges of “committing a hostile act against a foreign state” and “instigation against the UAE”, the charges that violate widely accepted fundamental human rights norms protecting free expression.
Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith has also been charged with a crime for associating with the banned Ummah Party, apparently because, as a professor of economics, he gave a presentation on the Islamic Economy at the invitation of someone who was a member of that party. This charge infringes on Dr. bin Ghaith’s basic right to freedom of association.
Dr. bin Ghaith was held incommunicado from August 2015 to April 2016, and remains detained in an unknown location. He claims that he has been tortured, which we consider a credible allegation given the secretive nature of his detention. As long as he is held incommunicado, we believe he remains at high risk of torture.
Your Highness, we urge you to release Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith immediately and unconditionally, as he has not been charged with a legitimate criminal offense, but only for acts of free expression and association in which he has every right to engage. Allegations that he may have been tortured also must be seriously and thoroughly investigated, and it is imperative that his secret detention end, and that he be given regular access to family, legal counsel, and medical attention.
Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Minister of Interior
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Zayed Sport City, Arab Gulf Street, Near to Shaikh Zayed Mosque
Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
Fax: +971 2 402 2762/+971 2 441 5780
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Crown Prince Court
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
P.O. Box: 124
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Fax: +971 2 668 6622
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
3522 International Court NW
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 243 2432
- DUBAI: Scholar’s detention erodes UAE reputation (universityworldnews.com)
- Free Emirati human rights defender Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith, on trial… (scholarsatrisk.org)
- Nasser bin Ghaith Archive (concernedscientists.org)