The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists denounces what is happening in the Arab countries of following the policy of zipping the mouths of activists, intimidating them and referring them to military tribunals to make them an example to others who demand freedom, democracy and reform.
In the UAE
The security forces in Sharjah Emirate arrested in 25/3/2012 the activist Mohamed Abdel-Razek El Seddeek, on the backdrop of his criticism of the Ruler of Sharjah Emirate -via his personal account on “Twitter”- following his interview on Sharjah TV channel accusing those who got the Emirate citizenship of implementing foreign agendas to tamper with the security of the UAE and warning against them what was considered by El Seddeek a racial tone.
It is worth mentioning that El Sedeek was one of the seven activists who participated in the reform petition submitted to the Ruler of the UAE in March 2011 to perform legislative reforms to ensure fair elections for the UAE National Council and then their citizenships have been withdrawn in December 2011.
In the next day, the security forces arrested the human rights activist Ahmed bin Ghaith El Swedi who is also one of the seven activists whose their citizenships have been withdrawn because of the reform petition they submitted to the Ruler of the UAE.
The security forces have also closed the Office of the National Democratic Institute, in Dubai which is an international human rights organization.
The Moroccan police force arrested on Saturday 24/3/2012 the human rights activist Said Aloabban and subjected him to an oral interrogation in the headquarters of the Royal Gendarmerie without legal reasons and when he requested to open an official investigation to proof on his statements, they refused and expelled him from the headquarters of the Royal Gendarmerie. Before arrested, Aloabban was on his way to attend the annual festival in Al-Tantan, south Morocco. It’s worth mentioning that it was not the first time Aloabban exposed to harassment of the security.
The police forces of Jordan dispersed a sit on Saturday 03/13/2012 organized by a group of activists outside the office of the Prime Minister demanding the immediate release of detained activists who have been arrested in Tafila events took place in March. They also chanted slogans against the king and the government.
The police arrested and questioned twelve activists and accused them of several charges, including the insult of the king, the incitement to riot and breach of public order and the closure of traffic in a major area in the capital Amman.
Finally, in Palestine
The Palestinian General Prosecutor decided to imprison the Palestinian Journalist Youssef Al-Shayeb fifteen days pending investigation on charges of “slander and defamation” on the backdrop of a complaint submitted by the Palestinian Foreign Minister and members of the diplomatic mission in France.
The complaint was because of a report published by Al-Shayeb in the Jordanian newspaper “Al Gad” brining into light several charges relevant to the involvement of some members of the Palestinian Embassy in France of corrupt acts. During the investigation, Al-Shayeb was asked to disclose the source of information, but he refused and came out with the text of Article 4 of the Palestinian Press Law which gives the journalist the right to unveil his source of information only by court decision.
Beside, Al-Shayeb was dismissed from “Al Gad” newspaper under several pressures, what led him to go through hunger strike in an objection against the acts of the government.
The Program sees all the above mentioned acts violation of international conventions that protect the rights and freedoms and contrary to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, especially the text of Article 9, 12 and 14.
The Program demands the following:
First, from the UAE authorities: To immediately release the activist Mohamed Abdel-Razek El Seddeek and the activist Ahmed bin Ghaith Swedi and to stop those acts that would disrupt the movement of democracy and reform in the UAE.
Second, from the Moroccan authorities: To stop the harassment of activists.
Third, from the Jordanian authorities: To immediately and unconditionally release all opinion detainees and to stop narrowing areas of freedoms of opinion and expression.
Finally, from the Palestinian authorities: To release the journalist Youssef Al-Shayeb and instead of investigating him, the authorities should investigate the facts of corruption he uncovered.