In the name of God the compassionate and merciful
“Surely We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and diminution of goods and lives and fruits; yet give thou good tidings unto the patient who, when they are visited by an affliction, say, ‘Surely we belong to God, and to Him we return’” (al-Baqara 155-6)
I, Nasir Bin Ghayth, the fifth defendant in case no. 313/2011/State Security, do declare my boycott of the show trial and my rejection of the court proceedings, having arrived at a firm conviction and having tested the court for more than five months, during which I believed that I could get a public, legal, and fair trial, where truth is imperative and falsehood is void. But to my great regret, with each passing day the dazzling image in my mind about justice and sovereignty of the law, about economic achievements and social welfare, an image I passed on to my students at the university, has further dissipated.
I was arrested on Saturday, April 9, 2011, in a degrading, humiliating way, in an ambush set up for me by State Security, with the cooperation and collaboration of my employer, whom I unfortunately served more than 23 years. My home was also raided by State Security personnel and every item searched. I do not know what they were looking for, although I learned the charge against me a few days later—to wit, insulting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in my interventions on some [internet] forums.
The real suffering began after that. I would never have imagined that I would face such a thing in my own country and from my own people. After my arrest, I spent 48 hours without sleep, among them 18 hours (from 9 am to 2 am) sitting in the backseat of a car waiting to be brought before the State Security Prosecution. I was not permitted to pray during this time or take care of biological needs, which is a violation of the most basic rights and God’s law.
Wathba Prison then came to increase the suffering. I was placed in solitary confinement as soon as I reached the prison at 4 am. I was prevented from urinating, washing, or even performing my ablutions from the moment I arrived until the evening of the next day. During this time, I urinated in a corner of the cell, performed my ablutions with sand, and prayed in another corner.
After ten days of solitary confinement in a cell not fit for livestock, I and the other four defendants were transferred to other blocks in the prison. I was placed with rapists, murderers, and extortionists. This was a unique oddity unimagined in a nation of law and justice. It is well known that even in police states political prisoners or prisoners of conscience are not placed with other criminal offenders. But the intent of my placement in a cellblock with criminal offenders later became clear: several of the inmates and those convicted of theft, fraud, or other crimes were recruited to spy on me and the other defendants, writing daily reports ordered by some body I cannot identify with certainty; it may have been State Security or some other agency. I do not know how credible these reports were, written by people convicted of breach of trust or ethics, and with God I seek recourse.
I was then physically targeted by the inmates, at the suggestion of a body I cannot identify with certainty, possibly the prison administration or State Security. I was the subject of an attempted assault more than once by more than one inmate in more than one of the cellblocks they transferred us to, ostensibly to protect our safety. This was after the Public Prosecutor and other security bodies incited the people against us in press and online statements. I filed several complaints with the State Security Prosecution, the competent court, and the prison administration, but to no avail. Indeed, I was punished for this by the prison administration, which put me in solitary confinement bound hand and foot. I ate restrained, prayed restrained, and slept restrained, denied the most basic rights that every person should enjoy, even convicted murderers, human traffickers, and thieves.
Then came those responsible for administering justice and their representatives, entrusted with enforcing the law. A few days after my arrest and before I appeared in court, the Public Prosecutor released a statement naming me and the other defendants, saying our involvement in several crimes had been proven. This is a serious infringement of our rights and legal and ethical principles; it may even constitute a punishable crime, such as public libel and slander, insofar as it alleged we were convicted criminals while we were still innocent in the eyes of the constitution.
This was also an attempt to influence justice and the case still before the court. Finally, the statements, which the Public Prosecutor repeated word for word on September 25, 2011, were tantamount to incitement to harm us, especially considering that some of us had received death threats as a result of the Public Prosecutor’s first statement. Through my legal representative, I filed a complaint naming the Public Prosecutor, but the complaint was not accepted and no reason was given. The same fate met all the complaints I filed against the Wathba Prison administration and some media outlets that defamed me and the other four defendants.
As for the trial, the panel of judges was changed three times, and the sessions were declared closed and secret without a request from us and without reason, although in principle a trial should be public. With cause, and subject to appeal, the court may declare the proceedings confidential in furtherance of justice and the welfare of the defendants. Nor did the court attend to any of the motions filed by the defense. The defense was unable to exercise the most basic right of defense and question the prosecution witnesses, who were, in fact, State Security officers, who were out in force in the courtroom despite the secrecy of the proceedings. The court also refrained from issuing a gag order, despite the ferocious media campaign unleashed against us that impugned our patriotism, professionalism, competence, and everything else. In an odd contradiction, the court insisted on the secrecy of the proceedings, ostensibly to protect the defendants and maintain a smooth trial, even as it refrained from issuing a gag order on reports of the trial and the defendants. This indicates that the goal of the secrecy was not to protect the defendants, but rather to deny them the guarantee of a fair trial provided by the public nature of the proceedings.
As for motions from the defense, none were granted, even those that involved the most basic rights of the defendant, such as permitting the defendant to see the charge sheet, case document, and evidence. To this day, I am not entirely certain what the charge or charges against me are. The prosecution says that I am accused of insulting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, but the court asks questions about attempts to overthrow the regime, incite public opinion, shake stability, spread civil strife, and disclose high state secrets.
Thus, I and the other defendants have submitted several motions to the court, elaborated in a previously issued joint statement. We announced that as long as these requests were not met, we would be compelled to boycott the trial. As the court, in the session of Monday, September 26, 2011, responded to none of the requests, I have reached an unshakeable conviction that this court, measured against international norms of justice, is merely a farce and facade meant to legitimize and make credible verdicts and penalties that may have already been decided. It is purely an attempt to punish me and those with me for our political opinions and our stances on certain national issues.
Thus, I refuse to play the role written for me or to participate in this trial that does not rise to the standards of a fair trial. As such, for all the aforementioned reasons, I declare my boycott of the court and my rejection of all its procedures, which took place outside the scope of the law and in flagrant violation of the constitution, thus entirely undermining my constitutional rights. I also declare my rejection now of the convictions that will be issued, whether against me or the other defendants, and all things past and present belong to God.
Nasir Bin Ghayth al-Marri