Egyptian Detainee Details Torture in the UAE

Mosaab Abd al-Aziz, the son of a former advisor to Egypt’s deposed president Muhammad Morsi, has sent a taped message to his family alleging that UAE authorities tortured him in order to coerce him into confessing membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. UAE police arrested Abd al-Aziz in October 2014 and they have held him in prison since then, reportedly without access to a lawyer. For the first three months of his detention, he says he was held in a state security facility known for allegations of torture.  According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has listened to Abd al-Aziz’s message, he reports that authorities tortured him so severely that he now suffers from permanent damage to his ears; he stated that “If I was asked to confess to coming from Mars to destroy earth, I would have, just to get it over with.” Having worked for a mobile application development company for 20 years without any involvement in politics, Abd al-Aziz believes his detention is due to his father’s previous role as Morsi’s advisor.

Abd al-Aziz is one of several foreign nationals recently detained and reportedly tortured in the UAE. Muhammad al-Darat, a Libyan-American citizen who has allegedly suffered severe torture in UAE custody, has also complained of ear damage. He claims that he is now permanently deaf in his left ear due to the torture he experienced during interrogation. A HRW spokesman states that detainees have accused the UAE state security apparatus “over and over” of using torture to extract confessions.

Margaret Bailey is an Advocacy Intern at ADHRB.