Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have tortured a Libyan-Canadian man who has been held for a year on suspicion of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Amnesty International said Friday.
Salim al-Aradi has been in detention since August 29 last year. Although police in Dubai gave no reason for his arrest, it is believed that authorities suspect he is linked to the banned Islamist organisation, the rights watchdog said.
Aradi is “believed to have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated in custody. His health is said to be deteriorating rapidly and he has been denied access to adequate medical care,” said Amnesty in a statement.
“The unlawful treatment of Salim al-Aradi demonstrates the extreme tactics the UAE authorities are resorting to in the name of protecting national security,” said Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director Said Boumedouha.
The group said that Aradi was among 10 Libyan businessmen arrested in the UAE, four of whom were released in December and deported to Turkey.
The UAE has not seen any of the pro-reform protests that have swept other Arab countries since 2011, including fellow Gulf states Bahrain and Oman.
But authorities have stepped up a crackdown on dissent and calls for democratic reform. Most of those targeted have been Islamists.
A rare mass trial of 41 radical Islamists accused of seeking to overthrow the government and of having links with “terrorists” opened on Monday.