Nasser bin Ghaith, an Economist in the United Arab Emirates, was arrested for committing hostile acts against a foreign state (Egypt) and for instigating against the UAE. These acts were criticizing these governments online. He was also charged with associating with a banned political party in the UAE (as an academic he gave a speech as requested by a member of that political party).
CCS has requested that Dr. bin Ghaith be released and the charges dismissed.
October 30, 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, again, emphasize our continuing concern for Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith, a U.S.-educated economist who faces a hearing on November 7, and remains held incommunicado.
We wrote you on June 6 about Dr. bin Ghaith, who appears to be facing trial for exercising his basic right to free expression. Though officially charged with “committing a hostile act against a foreign state” and “instigating against the UAE,” the acts for which he is being prosecuted appear to be simply posting online criticisms of UAE officials and the Egyptian government. These are peaceful exercises of free speech and not crimes. The charges against Dr. bin Ghaith 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 a member of that party. This charge infringes on Dr. bin Ghaith’s academic freedom and his basic right to freedom of association.
Dr. bin Ghaith has been held incommunicado from August 2015 through April 2016, and still is detained in an unknown location. He claims that he has been tortured. 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 need to be thoroughly investigated, and it is imperative that his whereabouts be publicly known, he be given regular access to family, legal counsel, and medical care.
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
- Academic faces up to 15 years in jail for tweets (universityworldnews.com)
- United Arab Emirates: Release Dr Nasser bin Ghaith Immediately (amnestyusa.org)