Amnesty International calls for immediate lifting of travel ban preventing Canadian citizen Salim Alaradi from departing UAE after 21 months of illegal detention
Amnesty International is gravely concerned that Canadian citizen Salim Alaradi is being prevented from leaving the United Arab Emirates due to a travel ban. This week, Mr. Alaradi was acquitted of charges brought against him by authorities in the UAE where he was held in illegal detention for more than 21 months. Mr. Alaradi was held without charges for the majority of his detainment and was denied access and communication from lawyers and family for months after his initial arrest in 2014. While in prison, he was tortured, granted uneven access to consular assistance and denied the right to a fair trial. This week, Amnesty International, supporters of Mr. Alaradi and his lawyers were encouraged by the long-delayed acquittal of charges against him on May 30th and by his release from detention on May 31st. However, after a prolonged saga of human rights violations, Amnesty International is deeply concerned that Mr. Alaradi is now being prevented from leaving the country and calls on authorities in the UAE to rescind all barriers to his freedom.
“The week began with a promising prospect of long-sought justice for Salim Alaradi when he was acquitted following over 21 months of human rights violations, trumped up charges and a deeply flawed legal process. His release from prison a day later should have marked his freedom,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. “The news that he has been barred from leaving the United Arab Emirates today to reunite with his family and obtain badly needed medical attention is deeply troubling and cannot stand. No legal basis for the ban appears to have been offered by UAE authorities and it should be lifted immediately.”
While in detainment, Mr. Alaradi has also been denied access to adequate medical attention and he requires access to treatment for kidney problems, severe back pain, numbness in his extremities, ringing in his ears and problems with his vision. He previously had heart surgery and that is also a serious concern to his family. After receiving the medical attention he requires, Mr. Alaradi plans to return to his home in Windsor, Ontario.
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