Updated with information from a Cage Prisoners official about Al Jaidah’s case.
A Qatari doctor who has been imprisoned in the UAE since February over suspicion of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood is being increasingly humiliated by his captors, an international human rights group has said.
Since November, Dr. Mahmood Abdulrehman Al Jaidah has faced strip-searches each time he returns from court hearings, and is sometimes forced to sit naked for hours before being allowed to enter his cell, Amnesty said in a statement released on Friday.
The treatment is “an apparent attempt to humiliate him and lower his spirits,” the group added.
The director of medical services at Qatar Petroleum was arrested nearly a year ago while transiting through the Dubai airport. He was formally charged in November with supporting the Al Islah group, a banned organization in the UAE tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al Jaidah has denied those charges. According to Amnesty, two members of Al Islah appeared in court last month and testified that they did not know who he was and “had never had any association with him.”
In addition to the strip-searches, other steps are being taken to demoralize Al Jaidah, Amnesty said, including denying him the privilege of attending Friday prayers in a mosque, which some other prisoners are allowed to do.
Additionally, the doctor no longer gets visits from family members, after one of his sons was briefly detained last month by state security outside of Al Jaidah’s courtroom.
According to Cage Prisoners, which works on cases in which prisoners appear to be arbitrarily detained, Abdul Rahman Al Jaidah was arrested primarily because of a short video he helped Cage make about his father’s case.
“His interrogation consisted mainly of questions to do with the video and our organization,” Moazzam Begg, the organization’s outreach director, told Doha News.
After Abdul Rahman was released, lawyers advised Al Jaidah’s relatives to leave the UAE. Begg said:
“The fact that Dr. Al Jaidah’s trial continues while he has still not been able to consult his lawyer after almost one year in detention, suggests that his prosecution is nothing more than a show trial designed to provide a veneer of credibility to a corrupt and perverse process.”
The next hearing will be held this week.
When the trial concludes and if Al Jaidah is found guilty, he will not have an avenue to appeal under UAE law.