Ahmad Ali MekkaouiCases
- Location of case in SG report
- Relevant SG report
- Year of the report
- From Country
- Country Geolocation
- Country Geolocation (linked Countries)
- United Arab Emirates
- Middle East and North Africa
- Type of record
- Named individual
- Was the victim a foreign national?
- Was the victim a minor?
- Individual's/organization's activity
- Type of rights defended
- Civil/political rights
- Was the victim a civil servant, member of the security forces or of the judiciary?
- Reported trigger of reprisal
after his detention was found arbitrary by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (A/HRC/WGAD/2017/47, paras. 23, 34) during its August 2017 session. Mr. Mekkaoui had been arrested on 13 October 2014 and reportedly detained in secret detention and in solitary confinement for seven months, during which he was severely tortured and sustained injuries requiring five surgeries. On 4 December 2016, Mr. Mekkaoui was sentenced to 15 years in prison based on confessions extracted under torture. On 5 December 2018, the Arabic television channel Al Arabi broadcasted a video segment on Mr. Mekkaoui’s case, detailing his torture and prosecution in the UAE, and the Opinion issued by the Working Group. The video also featured an interview with Mr. Mekkaoui’s sister and his lawyer.
- Engagement with UN body
- UN Special Procedures: thematic
- Dates of engagement
- August 2017
- Type of attempted engagement
- UN raised case of person/organization
- Dates of mentioned reprisals
- 17 December 2018; March 2019
- Reprisal information
Consequently, and as an alleged act of reprisal, on 17 December 2018 Mr. Mekkaoui was moved to solitary confinement and was put in a cell underground, without natural day light. Since then, Mr. Mekkaoui has only intermittently been able to contact his family and the last phone call he made was on 15 April 2019. Moreover, in March 2019, the Public Prosecution initiated new legal proceedings against Mr. Mekkaoui, his sister, his nephew and his lawyer, accusing them of “misrepresentation and incitement against the UAE” based on the interviews from 5 December 2018 and his nephew’s Facebook page calling for Mr. Mekkaoui’s immediate release. His health reportedly remains critical.
- Types of reprisals suffered
- Deterioration in detention conditions
- Family/friends/acquaintances targeted
- Alleged/likely perpetrators
- State actors
- Was the reprisal based on new legislation?
- Does the report make general comment about country’s environment for engagement with UN?
- Is the country cited for a "pattern of reprisal" in the context of this case?
- Is a pattern of reprisals mentioned otherwise in the context of this case?
- Does the report cite "self-censorship" as an issue in the context of this case?
- How many times has the case been followed up in subsequent SG reports?
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 0
- Follow up information provided in SG report 0
The case of Mr. Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui, a Lebanese citizen, was included in the 2019 report of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/42/30, para. 78 and Annex I, paras. 103–104) after he allegedly faced reprisals following the issuance of an opinion of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which found his detention arbitrary in August 2017 (A/HRC/WGAD/2017/47, paras. 23, 34). The opinion of the Working Group was publicized on television. It was reported to OHCHR that, at the time of writing, Mr. Mekkaoui remained forbidden to make phone calls to his family, a measure in place since April 2019. His last contact with his family was when he was visited in person by a relative in October 2019. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, he has been denied contact with family, who have not been able to obtain information on his condition, fate or whereabouts.
On 14 July 2020, the Government responded to the note verbale sent in connection to the present report, refuting that Ms. Soulayman Al-Ballushi, Ms. Alabduli, Mr. Mekkaoui, Mr. Shaker Az have been subject to arbitrary detention or torture, or been placed in solitary confinement. The Government indicated that all have received the necessary health care and that while family visits were suspended due to COVID-19, all individuals have the right to phone calls. It noted that Ms. Abdulnoor was serving her sentence for abetting terrorism because of her support to Al Qaeda when the breast cancer she had before incarceration worsened, and she died in custody under the care of the State. The Government refutes the allegations pertaining to Mr. Mansoor, who they state has received regular medical care and meals and the alleged hunger strike is not true.
- Followup Trends 0
- Stayed same
- Did the government respond? 0