Nearly four months after his arrest, Dr Naser bin Ghaith's family have still no idea where he was taken, why he was arrested and what charges he may be facing. The family are terrified of speaking to the press or raising his case with the authorities. There has been no official comment about his arrest. The authorities have not even confirmed that he has been arrested.
According to the he Emirati activist Ahmed Mansoor, Ghaith's family is warned not to talk to the media or approach human rights organisations. “Fear is the dominant factor when it comes to speaking about someone taken by the security authorities,” he said. He claimed that family members are warned that if they do not stop complaining they too will be interrogated, that they may lose a job or more ominously it will go badly for their loved one in detention.
Human rights advocates and released prisoners allege that often those detained in secret prisons in the UAE are subjected to torture in order to extract a false confession. They claim that prisoners are moved to an ordinary jail once the signs of torture have healed. It is only then their families and lawyers can see them. Authorities in the UAE deny this.
Mr Mansoor said that the government of the UAE is no longer bothered by international pressure and condemnation from human rights organisations. Asked what he expects Dr Bin Ghaith is doing while in detention, Mr Mansoor replied: “From what I know of him he will be on hunger strike. He is a person who takes hard decisions and implements them immediately.”