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Nasser Bin Ghaith

Nasser Bin Ghaith

HRD, Lecturer
Paris-Sorbonne University (Abu Dhabi branch)

Nasser bin Ghaith is an Emirati human rights defender, economist and lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of the Paris-Sorbonne University. He is part of a group known as the “UAE5”, five activists who were imprisoned from April to November 2011 on charges of “publicly insulting” UAE officials.

On 18 August 2015, security officers in civilian clothes arrested Dr. Bin Ghaith in Abu Dhabi, searched his home and confiscated personal items. He was held incommunicado until finally being brought to the Federal Supreme Court on 4 April 2016, when he told the court he had been tortured and beaten in detention and deprived of sleep for up to a week.

On 2 May 2016, a second hearing took place to examine charges against Dr. Bin Ghaith relating to his online postings. He stated that he is still being held in secret detention. The judge refused to listen to his complaints for a second time. Neither his family nor his lawyer knows where he is being detained, and his lawyer’s request to visit him has been denied repeatedly.

The persecution of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the UAE is systematic. Since 2011, the state has intensified its crackdown on freedom of association, assembly and freedom of expression. HRDs and members of their families are subjected to forced disappearance, prolonged arbitrary detention, torture, judicial harassment and unfair trials, travel ban, physical and digital surveillance and arbitrary dismissal from work.