A verdict is expected this week for a Canadian imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates for nearly two years in what his family and human rights advocates have called an unjust case.
Salim Alaradi had originally been on trial for terrorism charges which were abruptly dropped in March and replaced with two lesser offences.
The man’s oldest daughter says she hopes her father will be declared innocent on Monday and released from prison as he’s done nothing wrong.
Alaradi immigrated to Canada in 1998 from the U.A.E. but returned there in 2007 to run a home appliance business. He was on vacation with his family in Dubai when he was suddenly arrested in August 2014.
Alaradi was among 10 men of Libyan origin detained around the same time – some of them have since been released.
When his trial got underway in January, the 48-year-old pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges which related to funding, supporting and co-operating with terrorist organizations.
When those charges were dropped, Alaradi was then put on trial for allegedly providing supplies to groups in a foreign country without permission of the U.A.E. government and collecting donations without the government’s permission.
His Canadian lawyer has said Alaradi always admitted he helped raise funds and secure supplies for the new transitional council in Libya after the ouster of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 but has nothing to do with the political situation in the country since increased unrest in 2012.
The U.A.E. was part of the NATO-led coalition that ousted Gadhafi and has taken a keen interest in the country’s future since.
Alaradi’s case has drawn growing international attention since he and his co-accused went on trial.
UN human rights experts have demanded the U.A.E. immediately release him and his fellow detainees.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also examined the men’s cases and cited advocates for the detainees alleging that the men had been deprived of sleep for up to 20 days, beaten on the hands and legs and suffered “electric shocks with an electric chair.”
Alaradi’s oldest daughter, who has been speaking out on the case, said it’s time for her father’s case to be resolved.
“They have held my father for a very long time,” said Marwa Alaradi. “My father has done nothing wrong, and I’ll still say that until my father gets released.”
A spokeswoman with Global Affairs said Canada has taken “every opportunity” to raise Salim Alaradi’s case with U.A.E. authorities, particularly on the matters of his health, well-being and consular access.
“The government of Canada is seized of the seriousness of Mr. Alaradi’s case and is fully engaged in efforts to ensure a prompt and just resolution,” said Rachna Mishra. “Canada urges the United Arab Emirates to ensure that Mr. Alaradi receives a fair and transparent trial in accordance with due process.”