Canadian Unlawfully Detained in UAE for 17 Months

Salim Alaradi, a Canadian-Libyan citizen held in Dubai for 17 months without charge recently learned he will face ridiculous terrorism charges. The father and successful businessman relocated to the United Arab Emirates for business.

Alaradi's arrest has been one of several arrests of foreign businessmen, which includes 10 other Canadian residents. Canadian authorities confirmed that after 260 days in custody no charges of a crime were announced until now. When Alaradi was arrested while on vacation with his family and taken from his hotel in August of 2014, his whereabouts remained unknown for over four months. Not even local lawyers hired by his family were allowed to speak to him. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International investigated and confirmed his detainment as enforced disappearance and arbitrary under international law.

Last Monday, January 18th, Alaradi learned in his first court appearance that he is being charged with funding and cooperating with so-called "terrorist" organizations. Since Alardi's lawyer was not allowed into the private courtroom, he was accompanied by the Canadian ambassador, consular official and two American diplomats. The terrorist organizations the UAE is claiming Alaradi is involved with aren't viewed as terrorist groups in Canada and are recognized internationally as legitimate groups that rose up against Colonel Gaddadi in the civil war. What is more bizarre is that Alaradi hasn't been to Libya in over 25 years and his only political connection is his brother that is appointed to the National Transitional Council in Libya.

During his trial Alaradi showed the court physical signs of torture and pled not guilty to all charges. Alaradi's lawyer and family are concerned for him since courts don't allow right of appeal and won't allow Alardi to speak to his local attorneys, all signs of an unfair trial despite certain safeguards in UAE laws and its constitution. In recent years, many human rights activists, bloggers, lawyers, and even judges have been arrested and detained based on confessions made derived from torture which is a serious violation of international law.