Updated June 25, 2020
Endangered Scholars Worldwide (ESW) joins other human rights organizations in calling on the Emirati government, amid the global threat posed by COVID-19, to release the Emirati Professor and economist Nasser bin Ghaith. Though UAE released a number of prisoners in early March 2020, imprisoned scholars and students—many of whom are older and suffer from underlying medical conditions—were excluded from the decrees. We urge the Emirati Government to release Nasser bin Ghaith amid heightened risk of contracting the virus.
Reports suggest that Emirati professor and economist Nasser bin Ghaith’s health is severely deteriorating as he continues his hunger strike, which has lasted over 90 days. He has, for example, lost over 20 kilograms (~45 pounds) and is now only able to walk with the assistance of others. The economist, who taught at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris-Sorbonne University, is serving a 10-year sentence handed down in March 2017 for tweets critical of UAE authorities. During his trial, the Emirati authorities restricted his access to his lawyer, and he was unable to prepare a proper defense. Bin Ghaith is being held at the al-Razeen maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi, which is home to a number of Emirati dissidents and where he claims to have experienced torture at the hands of Emirati officials.
On January 7, 2019, the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) transmitted a letter to the government of the United Arab Emirates to express concerns over the deteriorating health of Nasser bin Ghaith.
Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, Endangered Scholars Worldwide condemns the ongoing detention, persecution, and conviction of Nasser bin Ghaith in the strongest terms and asks all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest and condemn this arbitrary incarceration; to call for bin Ghaith's immediate and unconditional release; and to urge the officials of the UAE government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties.
Please send appeals to the following:
Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prime Minister’s Office PO Box: 212000 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Fax: +971 4 330 404 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of Interior Zayed Sport City, Arab Gulf Street, Near to Shaikh Zayed Mosque PO Box: 398, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Fax: +971 2 402 2762 / +971 2 441 5780 email@example.com
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Al Bateen, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Fax +971 02 444 7766 firstname.lastname@example.org