(Amman) – A Jordanian journalist working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been held incommunicado since the UAE Criminal Investigations Department in Abu Dhabi summoned him on December 13, 2015. UAE authorities should immediately disclose where they are holding the journalist, Tayseer al-Najjar, 42, and immediately allow him to contact a lawyer and his family.
“Al-Najjar’s case bears all the marks of the UAE’s shameful practice of forced disappearances and incommunicado detentions,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “We don’t know why Al-Najjar is missing but we know that he was last seen in police headquarters of a country with zero tolerance for free speech.”
[T]he arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.
“If authorities are holding al-Najjar at the notorious Abu Dhabi state security facility, then we are extremely concerned about his physical and mental well-being,” Stork said.