UAE use of death penalty raises “grave concerns”
The World Coalition expressed “its grave concerns as to the use of the death penalty in the UAE” in a letter sent to Emirati Justice Minister Dr Hadef bin Jua’an Al Dhaheri at the beginning of this month.
The World Coalition criticised the recent criminal investigation and trial of 17 Indian nationals sentenced to death for the murder of a Pakistani man, arguing that they “constitute gross violation of international standards of due process in capital punishment cases”.
According to World Coalition member Lawyers For Human Rights International, the accused were tortured and did not have access to a proper translation of the proceedings nor to all trial documents, all of which were in Arabic, although none of them spoke that language.
Juvenile offenders on death row
The World Coalition also highlighted the case of three youths sentenced to death for murder even though they were 17 at the time of the crime, after “a court ruled that their facial hair indicated they were mature enough to take responsibility for their crimes”.
The letter stated that such use of the death penalty violates international human rights as recognised by the UN and called on the UAE to commute the juveniles’ sentence and to ensure a fair appeal trial for the 17 Indian death row inmates.
The World Coalition also noted that although the UAE has not carried out an execution since 2008, recent months showed a worrying upwards trend in the number of death sentences.
The letter therefore called on the justice minister to “establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty”.
> Download the World Coalition’s letter to the UAE’s justice minister
> Support the urgent actions initiated by Amnesty International on behalf of the 17 Indian convicts and of the three juvenile offenders