UAE: The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture seized of the case of Amjad Mohammad Nour Aldeen AL NASSER
On 22 June 2022, Alkarama urgently addressed the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture regarding the imminent forced return to Syria of Syrian citizen Amjad Mohammad Nour Aldeen Al Nasser, a truck driver arrested on 26 April 2022 at around 10 am on the road between Abu Dhabi and Dubai by members of the Emirati intelligence services in civilian clothes while in his truck.
Al Nasser is one of those many Syrians forced to flee the country as a result of the crackdown on all real or presumed opponents of Bashar Al Assad's regime.
Father of four children, Al Nasser has been living in the United Arab Emirates since 1 September 2021, when he obtained a work contract as a truck driver.
On 26 April 2022, at around 10 am, five GMC vehicles normally used by the intelligence services blocked the road between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, forcing Al Nasser's truck to stop. According to testimonies given to his family, Al Nasser was forcibly removed from his truck before being thrown to the ground and severely beaten. He was then taken to an unknown destination in one of the vehicles.
Following his arrest, his brother, who also resides in Dubai, attempted to inquire about his fate and whereabouts. However, the various Emirati authorities he approached all denied his arrest and provided no information.
After a month of enforced disappearance, Al Nasser was able to call his brother to inform him that he was in the Sweihan detention centre in Abu Dhabi. He added that he had recently been informed of his imminent forced removal to Syria as requested by the Syrian authorities.
Mandated by the victim's family, Alkarama addressed the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in an urgent appeal dated 22 June 2022.
Alkarama informed the Rapporteur that Al Nasser has not been allowed to challenge his return before a judicial authority and that no legal extradition proceedings have been initiated against him, so that he is now at risk of being returned to Syria at any time.
The Special Rapporteur has therefore been requested to urgently intervene with the UAE authorities to urge them to refrain from returning Amjad Mohammad Nour Aldeen AL NASSER to Syria, where he is at risk of torture or even execution, in accordance with article 3 of the Convention against Torture ratified by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UAE will be examined by the Committee against Torture during its 74th session scheduled for 12-29 July 2022 in Geneva. On this occasion, Alkarama will highlight the issue of forced returns to countries where there is a risk of torture.