The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is extremely concerned at the detention on 17 July of Dr Mohammed al Roken, a lawyer and human rights defender from the United Arab Emirates. Dr Al Roken is a board member of Bridging the Gulf, a network of people in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to work on peaceful progressive change and on the furtherance of human rights. Bridging the Gulf's activities are devised by people from the GCC countries. Dr Al Roken is one of them. The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is working closely with Bridging the Gulf, providing logistic and administrative support.
The arrest of Dr Mohammed Al Roken took place in the context of a series of arrests of civil society activists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Their arrests are reportedly linked to allegations that they are part of foreign organisations that poses a threat to national security. The fact of the matter however is that that the arrest of Dr Al Roken is aimed at impeding his legitimate, peaceful human rights and advocacy work.
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee joins in the call by Bridging the Gulf for the disclosure of the whereabouts of Dr Al Roken, giving him access to his lawyers, and to unconditionally release him.