Saturday, November 21, 2015

Daughter of Canadian imprisoned without charge in UAE wants help from Justin Trudeau

Salim Alaradi was among 10 business men detained by UAE authorities in August and September of last year. Human Rights Watch asked UAE authorities to investigate accusations from three former detainees that they were tortured by state security officers.
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Human Rights Watch reported that the former detainees claimed they had been beaten, subject to forced standing, and threats to rape, kill, and electrocute. Salim Alaradi remains among six still held incommunicado in detention. He has not been charged with any offence.
Marwa Alaradi, just 18, has published the appended video appealing directly to Trudeau to call on the UAE to release her father. She said to CBC: "This is not the case of a criminal. This is a human rights case and an injustice has been done to my family. My father has been kidnapped, tortured and interrogated and he's had no charges."She said that her father did receive a visit from a Canadian Embassy official in the UAE who said that her father's health is deteriorating. She urged Canadian officials to act to help a Canadian citizen who was being treated quite badly. Alaradi was born in Libya but emigrated to Canada from the UAE with his family in the 1990s. They lived in Windsor. However in 2007 he returned to the UAE to open an appliance business with his brother.
Another Canadian Refat Hadagha, one of the 10 imprisoned, has come forward to tell his story to the Globe and Mail. He is a former resident of Surrey BC. He was freed back in December 2014 but kept quiet until now out of fear. He said he felt he must speak out now and can no longer remain silent. Hadagha said: “I don’t know why I was kidnapped, why I was tortured, why I was released.” In early September of last year he was driving with his family when his car was blocked and plainclothes officers dragged him away to a secret prison. Hadagha described his questioning:"The first time I was brought into the interrogation room, I remember clearly standing in the room blindfolded. I heard a man running full speed, and then I was punched with full force on my neck, knocking me to the ground, and then they tied me up and started to continuously beat me,”Hadagha said that he heard other detainees screaming and recognized one voice as that of Alaradi, who was a friend.
Hadagha said he was questioned about Libyan political groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated as a terrorist organization in the UAE. Hadagha said he could not answer most of the questions. He belongs to no political party. The officers tried to coerce him into becoming an informant and when he refused they punched him, kicked him, beat him with a stick, and whipped him. Given the chaotic situation in Libya his family contacted Canadian officials. An official was able to meet him but in another building. He was kept a considerable distance from the Canadian diplomat. The consular official told Hadagha that he had permission to confirm his identity and that Hadagha should tell him his name. Hadagha did and that was the end of the visit.
A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Rachna Mishna, said the department had raised concerns about Hadagha's well-being with UAE officials but even after repeated requests were made, Canadian officials were not granted full and sustained access to Mr. Hadagha. She said that in the cases of Hadagha and Mr. Alaradi: “Canada takes allegations of mistreatment extremely seriously." There is plenty of evidence of mistreatment, perhaps the new Liberal government will take further action to try and have Alaradi released.

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