UAE continues jailing of Qatari doctor

The family of a Qatari doctor say he has been beaten and held in solitary confinement after being arrested in the UAE.

Qatari national Dr Mahmoud al-Jaidah has been in detention in the UAE since February, but has yet to be charged with a crime. [AP]

Dr Mahmood al-Jaidah, a Qatari doctor employed by Qatar Petroleum, remains in prison in the UAE after being detained there last February 26. Dr al-Jaidah is suspected by UAE authorities of having links with the social organisation Dawat al-Islah in the UAE, which is alleged to have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Despite having been arrested seven months ago, no formal charges have yet been filed against al-Jaidah.

According to Qatari lawyer Abdullah Taher, al-Jaidah is still in judicial remand in Abu Dhabi. Taher had also tweeted that the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights has urged the UAE to release al-Jaidah.

‘Should have been released’

The doctor’s family members claim he has been beaten by Emirati authorities and has been kept in solitary confinement. His family has been able to visit him three times, through intervention of the Qatari government.

Despite previous reports that al-Jaidah was “safe and healthy,” he is said to have lost some 10kg and has had very limited access to legal representation.

One of al-Jaidah’s family members said he thought authorities in the UAE were trying to link the doctor to other detainees who have been held and alleged to be tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“He is not a member of the brotherhood,” said the family member. “A supporter maybe, but not a member.”

“He (al-Jaidah) should have been released a long time ago, and if at all, a travel ban should have been imposed on him,” said Taher.

‘Muslim Brotherhood ties’

A group of 30 Egyptians and Emiratis have been charged by the UAE authorities for allegedly setting up an illegal branch of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a prosecutor said in June.

The suspects were referred to the Gulf nation’s State Security Court, prosecutor Ahmed al-Dhanhani said.

He accused the group of having “established and managed a branch for … the international organisation of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood without a permit”.

The founders of the branch set up an administrative structure aimed at recruiting members for the Muslim Brotherhood, strengthening its presence in the UAE and maintaining allegiance to the main party, he said.

About a dozen Egyptians, some of them doctors, engineers and university professors, belonging to the group had been arrested between November 2012 and January 2013, according to Human Rights Watch.

The detained group was also linked to a separate network of about 94 Emirati Islamists, including 13 women, who are on trial for forming a “secret organisation plotting to overthrow the regime”.

Most or all of the 94 defendants are members of al-Islah association.

A statement by the prosecution said the 30-member group “received financial support from the secret organisation”.

The case of the arrested Egyptians has sparked a sharp deterioration in relations between Abu Dhabi and Cairo, already strained since the June 2012 election of Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, as Egypt’s former president.

The Gulf country, which bans political parties, rejected an earlier request from Egypt for the release of its nationals.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies