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4 Libyan detainees in UAE charged with pro-Brotherhood links

One of those charged was Salim Alaradi, a Canadian citizen who has allegedly been tortured in UAE custody
File photo shows general view of Dubai, UAE (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has charged four Libyan detainees with supporting pro-Muslim Brotherhood Libyan organisations, a rights group said in a statement on Monday.

All four of the Libyan nationals denied the charges brought against them during their trials on Monday, the International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE said.

The cases were adjourned until 15 February 2015, the statement added.

According to court documents, the four are charged with providing funds, vehicles, telecommunication devices, night vision goggles and bulletproof vests to two pro-Brotherhood organisations in Libya, the Emirati government-owned news site The National reported.

One of the detained is Canadian citizen Salim Alaradi, a high-profile prisoner whom human rights groups have called on the UAE to release.

Alaradi was arrested in 2014, and has been accused of supporting Libya Dawn and the February 17 Brigade in Libya, according to the Toronto Star.

The UAE has banned the two organisations, seen as supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, along with the Brotherhood's UAE affiliate, al-Islah.

Libya Dawn is a group of armed militias that supported the takeover of the capital Tripoli in 2014 and the formation of a new General National Congress (GNC), pushing the internationally recognised House of Representatives government to the eastern town of Tobruk.

The country has since decended into conflict, with the Islamic State (IS) group taking advantage of the chaos to make inroads in the country. 

Alaradi's 'unlawful treatment' by UAE

Alaradi's Canadian lawyer Paul Champ told the Star: "At this time, we have no idea what the evidence is.”

“We are seriously concerned that Mr. Alaradi was held in a secret prison for over three months and the information that we have is that he was brutally tortured during that time,” he added.

While Champ himself was not allowed to attend Alaradi's hearing, he said that Arif Lalani, Canada's ambassador to the UAE, was present along with another Canadian consulate official.

According to his lawyer, Alaradi has not been to Libya in 25 years. Born in Libya, Alaradi immigrated to Canada from the UAE in 1998. He returned to the UAE in 2007 to start a home appliance company.

Amnesty International in August condemned the alleged torture of Alaradi in custody, saying: "The unlawful treatment of Salim al-Aradi demonstrates the extreme tactics the UAE authorities are resorting to in the name of protecting national security."

Alaradi is "believed to have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated in custody," the Amnesty statement said. "His health is said to be deteriorating rapidly and he has been denied access to adequate medical care."