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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Qatari doctor detained in UAE has first day in court

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Mahmood Al Jaidah

A Qatari doctor who was detained in the UAE some eight months ago on suspicion of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood has appeared in court today for the first time.

But the charges against Dr. Mahmood Abdulrehman Al Jaidah have yet to be read, and the case was adjourned until later in the month. In the interim, a judge has ordered that he be transferred to a “regular” prison amid complaints of ill treatment inside his current unknown quarters, where he is being held in solitary confinement.

According to Al Jaidah’s lawyer, who has been tweeting about the case, the decision to not inform the doctor of what crime he is accused of committing is unusual. In previous months, Abdullah Tahir has said Al Jaidah was accused of accepting an envelope with Dh100,000 (about QR100,000) from an Emirati to be handed over to another UAE citizen in Qatar.

While Qatar has strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the UAE does not.

In July, a UAE court sentenced 56 individuals affiliated with Al Islah, a banned local society linked to the Brotherhood, to prison for three to ten years over charges of trying to overthrow the government.

It appears that despite efforts to strengthen relations between the two Gulf countries, Al Jaidah’s cause is only exacerbating tensions for some locals:

https://twitter.com/MBABM/status/396910455139995649

What happened

Al Jaidah, the director of medical services at Qatar Petroleum, was arrested during a stopover in Dubai on Feb. 26 while flying home from Bangkok, where his family said he was seeking medical treatment.

The 52-year-old has since complained of being beaten by authorities, is said to have lost some 10kg since his arrest, and has very limited access to legal representation, according to relatives.

In an email to Doha News, daughter Maryam Al Jaidah said:

“He still did not meet his lawyer, not even once. We still don’t know what will happen. Hopefully he will be brought to justice.”

Ahead of today’s trial, supporters of Al Jaidah have been circulating a video about his case on Twitter under the hashtags #free_dr_aljaidah and #المعتقل_محمود_الجيدة:

The video, which is primarily in Arabic, explains the circumstances surrounding Al Jaidah’s arrest, includes interviews of friends and colleagues vouching for his good character and discusses the toll his detention is taking on his family.

In it, son Hassan Al Jaidah, who studies geology in the UK, said (as translated into English):

“My father is not just a father. He is more like a brother or best friend. We have never had him away from the family for that long. It is very difficult. We used to hear about people losing a parent, but we never knew how hard it can be. We do not know when we will be reunited with him again.

Every time my 6-year-old sister see a plane in the sky, she goes out and looks at it, saying that dad is on it coming back home. It is heart-breaking to see her do that. We had no idea his absence would affect her that badly.

My father is not politicized. He has no political inclinations and never engaged in any political activities. No charges have been pressed against him yet. We do not know why he is being held.”

Meanwhile, human rights groups have called for Al Jaidah to either be transparently charged with a crime or released immediately.

In a statement issued on Nov. 1, Amnesty International said:

Qatari medical doctor, Mahmood al-Jaidah, was arrested by plain clothes United Arab Emirates (UAE) security officials while in transit at Dubai International Airport on 26 February 2013. Held in solitary confinement for 210 days, he told his family in sporadic visits that he had been subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation and forced to ingest unidentified liquid…

Father of eight children, Dr Mahmood al-Jaidah continues to be held in an unknown place by the UAE’s State Security, or Amn al-Dawla. Since his arrest, Dr Mahmood al-Jaidah’s due process rights, including the right to a lawyer of one’s own choosing and his right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention, have been flouted.

It added that any testimony that may have been obtained through torture should not be admissible as evidence.

The UAE has not publicly commented on the case. The next hearing will be Nov. 18.

Thoughts?

Credit: Translation by Riham Sheble and Amin Isaac

36 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

I find it shocking that allegedly he is not being told what crime he is being charged with. To be detained and not know why for so long equates to mental torture. Justice needs to be transparent.

No society should detain someone indefinitely without charge.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Seems to be a common theme in GCC countries. Some of the earlier news stories circulating were that he was being detained on national security grounds, but so far the UAE has neither confirmed nor denied this–big surprise.

hohum
hohum
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Qatar has similar National Security Laws which can be exercised by a minister. Under this law people can be detained indefinitely, travel restricted or deported with no evidence of a crime required. I was amazed when I was deported after being a victim a false rape claim. Despite proving my innocence in multiple Qatari courts, greatly disrupting my life and career, This law was used against me.

This law is abused by the governments. Its the law they use when all else fails. If they want to use this law they have to be prepared to compensate the individual.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Just to be clear, I’m not defending the practice of detaining people for a lengthy period, without them knowing the reason or having a trial date.

However, this notion that this is unique to the region is false.

Prior to 9/11, the U.S. had some law called the “secret evidence act” or such. It was mainly used to detain Muslims, who were supposedly suspected of being involved in terrorist activities. Many were the cases where a person would be detained without being told what they are accused of. The lucky one were the ones who eventually got deported.

Of course, since 9/11, just about anyone from anywhere in the world can be kidnapped, thrown into Gitmo or some secret jail for many years.

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I think you will find that the difference being that the American and other Western press reported and criticised these issues publicly.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

That’s a fair point; no argument about that. Our societies in this region are yet to get passed blind loyalty to the rulers. Just because I criticize the government doesn’t making me a traitor.

Still, what good is it to have something just discussed in the press if no real action is taken? It wouldn’t be hard for the rulers here to have some paid journalists write articles that are critical of things like the jailed Qatari poet. Will that lead to his release?

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

You are correct, but all dissent throughout history starts small, and a free press is a large part of that. I for one completely agree with you that detaining anyone without trial or charges is wrong and I come from a country where that happened from 1971 to 1975

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Demetrius

hohum
hohum
7 years ago

Perhaps the gcc countries could come to some sort of an agreement on detaining people and a time frame for charging people. Its seems to be a common practice in the region to lock someone up on suspicion of a crime with little evidence, hold them indefinitely , and then later find out a case never existed and come to an unsatisfactory explanation to save face.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  hohum

“Perhaps the gcc countries could come to some sort of an agreement” ROFL! They cannot even agree on something as simple as a single currency, let alone allowing each other to limit how long they can keep someone in jail for an indefinite amount time.

hohum
hohum
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Once you are finished “ROFL” perhaps you could let your government know that this is not acceptable. YOLO

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  hohum

What makes you think they’d listen to me? Or that this issue isn’t known to them, but is just not a priority at the moment? Maybe once we have an elected Parliament, we’ll see some change.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

There might be an ‘elected’ parliament in your lifetime, but I very much doubt you’ll see one with any power before you’re planted in the ground. I wish that I were wrong, but after living in 4 GCC countries, I have become cynical and jaded. While I find the government systems to be contemptible, I am respectful of their abilities to maintain power.

hohum
hohum
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

This is my issue,

Having fallen foul of such laws that facilitate such injustice I would like the Qatari government to make better their past mistakes.

I want justice for my self, and to prevent this happening to anyone else.

I want Qatar to recognise they have been unjust

-A Qatari I believe makes a knowingly false accusation to police
-Poor police procedures and investigations (they were able to gain some good statements but failed to recognise obvious flaws in the statements)
– I was falsely imprisoned
– biased prosecutor choosing to prosecute despite having no credible evidence at all.
– the father files a secondary law suit against to sue me at the same time my case is going through the criminal court. (over confident and financially motivated)
– I am proven through the Qatari courts that I am innocent yet I still have to wait a month to be cleared to go on muchly awaited holiday with my parents.
– On a year to the day of going to jail the police contact me and tell me I am being deported
– My travel restricted once again despite having a prior bookings for Easter
– temporary lifting of the ban
-Being refused a police clearance certificate despite committing no crime (very important to me as I am a teacher and schools require these when employing you)
-Returning from holiday and being deported

Throughout I experienced many work, family, financial and emotional strains that come with being accused of raping a 9 year old girl and the possible consequences of an incorrect ruling.

The only thing I can praise is that the judges ruled the case for what it was. I had a great fear that like the police and prosecutor they would panda to the fathers expectations.

I want Qatar to recognise they have been unjust in the following ways;

-I want compensation for everything I went through in Qatar

-I want it known publicly that this happened

-I want to know that there are laws and procedures put in place, if they are not already, that prevent cases like this resulting in jail time and protracted court cases when there is not a case. Police and prosecutors should be seen as treating everyone equally under the law and not serving a minority.

I am still waiting for justice.

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  hohum

Shocking, you have my deepest sympathy and empathy

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  hohum

Sorry by the way, I wasn’t trying to be insensitive. It’s just the idea that the GCC countries (leaders) could come to an agreement on such a thorny issue is just far-fetched.

hohum
hohum
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Im pretty thick skinned, I never took it that you were being insensitive.

I am grappling with the issue of how to make the government aware of an issue. To me an individual doesn’t have any clear pathway of getting a message across without having to resort to the media. Even then it seems you need to make it international news before they start listening. I have been in the courts now for 2 years and want an end to my torment.

Sarah2473
Sarah2473
7 years ago
Reply to  hohum

That’s horrible, I can’t imagine what you’ve been going through. Unfortunately if you want clear answers you have to publicise it & be loud enough to be heard by international media

hohum
hohum
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

or perhaps Qatar could lead by example and have a time frame on proceedings. There was an awful lot of people in Capitol Police jail waiting for hearings without set dates. Many had been already in for years still going through the court process. Im sure there were many innocent people there too.

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

A single currency is not easy, look at the mess of the eurozone!!!

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago

Odd; stories like this about people being unfairly jailed usually attract a lot of comments from people upset about such an injustice. Oh, right, the guy is a Qatari 😉

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Well, maybe somebody can post some ridiculous argument along the lines of “there was injustice one time in a completely separate country so we shouldn’t criticize the UAE for doing this”. Or maybe somebody else could argue that people are posting complaints about this case because they are jealous and unhappy in the UAE. This usually seems to get the conversation started on these threads.

Ano
Ano
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

what about Guantanamo is going to be their next question when they are cornered and don’t have an answer?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Ano

But Gitmo is a great example, holding people indefinitely without trial. Put them on trial if you have the evidence if not release them. These are not the principals America says it stands for and is a stain on its justice system

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Not feeding you anymore 😉

hohum
hohum
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Odd that his own country men and women aren’t up in arms. But then again its pretty hard to criticise when your own country adopts the same practices.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  hohum

this is an english forum his own country men are regularly “up in arms commenting” on other forums and twitter in arabic cus you know there arab

hohum
hohum
7 years ago

understandable 🙂 I stand corrected.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Could you post a link to one of the forums please? Thanks.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

http://www.qatarshares.com/vb/showthread.php?t=542756

http://www.majaless.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26195

normally I just read about it on twitter but those are links to a few forums you can find many if you can juts do a google search of the doctors name in Arabic.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Thanks!

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I think you will find most people condemning it here are Western, myself included.

ngourlay
ngourlay
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

If he’s been raising funds for the Muslim Brotherhood in UAE, then he’s broken the law. We’re all grown up enough to know the shitty quality of justice in the GCC, but it’s pretty hypocritical for Qataris to bleat about the UAE having any deficiencies in its legal system compared with their own country.

If he’d been accused of raising funds to aid the overthrow of Tamim, he’d get the same standard of justice in Doha, complete with battery leads to the testicles and a one-way trip to the desert.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  ngourlay

Sir, do you have any facts here or is it the usual speculation on your part?

“If he’s been raising funds for the Muslim Brotherhood in UAE”! He was raising funds in the UAE during his short transit stop at the Dubai airport?! If this is the case, why are the UAE authorities not forthcoming with information? Seems like a pretty clear cut case to me, if it were, in fact, the case.

But it’s good to see that you have no problem with this case, just like you have no problem with your government stripping its own citizens of their citizenship, just right before they’re handed to the U.S. to sent on a one way trip to Gitmo.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  ngourlay

“complete with battery leads to the testicles and a one-way trip to the desert” Well now, I guess we finally know why you’re always angry with Qatar.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago

Hadn’t heard of this guy. I hope that he is at least told the charges against him and given representation. The Bangkok Post has had a number of articles on Khaleejis suspected of consorting with Islamist terror organizations in the south of Thailand. I wonder if he is being held based on info from the Thais? Regardless, at the very least the UAE needs to give him the ability to clear his name if this is incorrect.

Is there an online petition going anywhere?

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago

on a parallel road, also families of Nepalis and Indians need their fathers alive and sending them money for food and not kept here against their will or exploited. Empathy should be for all those unjustly treated!!!

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