An UK-based Arab rights group has called on the UAE to disclose the whereabouts of two Qatari citizens it says were arrested on their arrival in the Emirates.
The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR) on Monday said two Qatari nationals, 30-year-old Youssef al-Mulla and 33-year-old Hamad al-Hamadi, had gone missing over three months ago following a road trip to the UAE.
"According to testimonies by the detainees’ families, the Qatari nationals left Friday June 27 to the UAE, via land, and were arrested by the UAE authorities," the AOHR said. It accused Emirati authorities of "arbitrarily hiding" the men.
"The two families confirmed that the missing citizens had previously visited the UAE several times, and were not subjected to any interrogations, and that all means of communicating with them had been cut since their arrest.
"Their familities were unable to know the reasons behind their arrest or their whereabouts, nor have they received any calls from those who have arrested them." AOHR said in a statement.
"In order to combat the so-called Arab Spring, UAE authorities launched a fierce war on activists," the AOHR said, adding that the UAE has arrested Egyptians, Palestinians and Libyans.
It said UAE's "state security authorities are not subject to any judicial oversight where those arrested are kept for long periods and are exposed in many cases to various forms of torture and degrading practices".
"The AOHR demands the UAE authorities to disclose the fate of Qatari nationals, and urges the UN special rapporteurs in the committees against torture to help find the men and press the UAE authorities to stop this policy."
The members of the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council have clashed on a number of issues since the start of the so-called Arab Spring of uprisings in Arab countries.
Doha has come under fierce fire from the UAE, Riyadh and Bahrain for its support for Islamist powers in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere.
Three Gulf states pulled their diplomats out of Doha in March, the first such joint action in the GCC's history. In late August, and after mediation efforts by fellow GCC member, Kuwait, Gulf officials said that the rift was healed and that the return of the ambassadors is imminent.
However, the embassies remain vacant.
Source: Al Jazeera