The UAE is to deport Sherif Osman, a former Egyptian army officer and an outspoken critic of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. He was arrested at a Dubai restaurant last month having travelled there with his fiancée to visit his family.
"[UAE officials] didn't present an arrest warrant or explain to him or his distraught family the reason for his arrest, and he was taken away in an unmarked car," explained Amnesty International. "A month later, Emirati officials told his lawyer that they had acted in response to a request from Egypt."
"We, the undersigned organisations, urge the authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) not to deport Sherif Osman to Egypt, where he would be at high risk of being subjected to torture and other human rights violations," said the signatories. Details of the petition were posted yesterday by ALQST for Human Rights on its website. "We further urge the UAE to release Osman immediately."
The Guardian reported that in early October, Osman began posting videos on his YouTube channel, which has over 35,000 subscribers, urging Egyptian citizens to protest on 11 November, "joining other demands for protests that day to show discontent with the rising cost of living and the crackdown on civil rights in Egypt."
One Emirati official was quoted in the report as saying: "As in each detention case, the UAE strictly adheres to all internationally accepted standards, including regular consular access and legal counsel. The UAE continues to work closely with relevant authorities to secure the requisite legal documentation required in preparing the extradition file."
Officials in the UAE have not said whether they plan to extradite Osman to the US or Egypt. A US State Department spokesperson was quoted by Middle East Eye as saying that Washington is aware of Osman's arrest and "is watching his case closely and providing appropriate consular support."
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