The Law Society of Upper Canada condemns the recent arrest and detention of lawyers in the United Arab Emirates.
Reliable reports indicate that state security has arrested and detained Dr. Mohamed al-Mansoori, Dr. Mohamed 'Abdullah al-Roken, Salem al-Shehhi and other human rights defenders.
Dr. Mohamed 'Abdullah al-Roken was one of the defence lawyers in the case of five UAE residents who were arrested in April 2011 for posting articles on an online forum that were critical of the UAE government and called for political reform. He has been prevented from lecturing at University of Al Ain. On July 17, 2012, Dr. al-Roken was driving to the police station in Dubai to tell the police that his son and brother-in law had been missing when he was arrested by authorities. His son and brother-in law have also been detained.
Dr. Mohamed al-Mansoori is the former head of the UAE Jurists' Association. He is also the deputy chairman for al-Islah. He was dismissed from his position as legal advisor to the government of Ras Al Khaimah in January 2012 after he gave a TV interview in which he criticized restrictions on freedom of speech in the UAE. He has been barred from traveling since October 2007 and the government has refused to renew his passport since March 2008. On July 16, 2012, Dr. al-Mansoori left the house to run an errand when he was approached by plainclothes officers and taken into custody. 25 to 28 officers came to the house and conducted an extensive search. The officers took laptops, an iPad and papers.
Lawyer Salem al-Shehhi was arrested on July 18, 2012, when he went to the State Security Prosecutor's office to ask about his clients, Dr. al-Mansoori and al-Roken.
It is the Law Society's understanding that Dr. al-Mansoori and Dr. al-Roken have been on hunger strike since August 12, 2012.
Letter of intervention to the Prime Minister
Letter of intervention to the Human Rights Directorate