Dismay and frustration reigned yesterday for friends and relatives of the Al Jaidah family, following the sudden arrest of Abdulrahman Al Jaidah, the son of a detained Qatari doctor in the UAE.
News of the 25-year-old’s detainment first broke on Twitter, and was confirmed by his brother Hassan.
— UAE Detainees (@uae_detainees) December 23, 2013
— حسن #محمود_الجيدة (@AlJaidah) December 23, 2013
Hours later, Amnesty International issued an action alert calling for Al Jaidah’s release, citing witness accounts that the man had been beaten by state security officers outside of the courtroom where his father was being tried for having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the alert, the rights group said:
“Amnesty International believes that Abdulrahman al-Jaidah may have been attacked and arrested because he has been publicly campaigning on his father’s case, drawing attention to his father’s prolonged detention without charge and alleged torture. The campaigning has included a video interview with him posted on YouTube on 14 November.”
The producer of the short film that Abdulrahman Al Jaidah was interviewed in was produced by CagePrisoners, which works on cases in which prisoners appear to be arbitrarily detained. In a statement yesterday, director Asim Qureshi said:
“The peaceful means used by the al-Jaidah family to protest against the illegal detention of their father highly contrasts with the ruthless methods employed by the UAE authorities in order to silence them. The kidnapping of AbdurRahman al-Jaidah in broad daylight shows their sense of impunity but also suggests that this was ordered at a higher level for political reasons.”
Abdulrahman Al Jaidah was freed this morning, according to his brother on Twitter, but details about what happened remain unclear.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mahmood Abdulrehman Al Jaidah continues to remain in UAE prison, after being arrested some 10 months ago while transiting through Dubai’s airport.
The director of medical services at Qatar Petroleum was formally charged last month with supporting the Al Islah group, a banned organization tied to the MB.
He has denied the charges in court, and said any statements taken him from interrogations were coerced, according to his lawyer, Abdullah Tahir. The doctor’s trial continues.
In the meantime, defense lawyers are advising the Al Jaidah family to leave the UAE for safety reasons.