Scholars at Risk calls for letters on behalf of Professor Nasser bin Ghaith of the UAE

Version 1

    April 15, 2011


    Scholars at Risk (SAR) isgravely concerned for Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith, a scholar and lecturer ofeconomics at the Abu Dhabi branch of France’s Paris-Sorbonne University.  SAR asks for letters, faxes and emails urgingthe appropriate authorities to intervene in Dr. bin Ghaith’s case, to directthe government to disclose his whereabouts and condition, and to ensure hiswell-being—including regular access to family, to legal counsel of his choosingand to medical treatment—pending his earliest release. 


    Scholars at Risk is aninternational network of over 250 universities and colleges in 30 countriesdedicated to promoting academic freedom and its constituent freedoms ofthought, opinion, expression, association and travel.  In cases like Dr. bin Ghaith’s involvingalleged infringement of these freedoms, Scholars at Risk investigates hoping toclarify and resolve matters favorably.


    According to publishedreports, state security forces in Dubai detained Dr. bin Ghaith on Sunday,April 10, 2011 and are holding him in an undisclosed location without anypublic statement of charges against him or other explanation for his arrest.  It has been reported that his detention islikely related to recent statements he reportedly made criticizing governmentauthorities for failing to undertake significant political reform.  If these are reports are true, Dr. binGhaith’s detention would be a clear violation of internationally recognizedstandards of free expression, due process, fair trial and detention, asenshrined in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and manysubsequent instruments.  Moreover, iftrue, Dr. bin Ghaith’s detention without cause, especially if it were tocontinue, would be a serious and unfortunate blow to the many good efforts ofthe government and others to develop the Emirates’ reputation and position as acenter of knowledge, education and culture, as these can only flourish inplaces which respect intellectual inquiry, free expression and humanrights. 


    Scholars at Risk thereforejoins with many national and international academic associations, human rightsorganizations and individual scholars in respectfully urging authorities tointervene in Dr. bin Ghaith’s case, to direct the government to disclose hiswhereabouts and condition, and to ensure his well-being—including regularaccess to family, to legal counsel of his choosing and to medicaltreatment—pending his earliest release. 


    Scholars at Risk invitesletters, emails and faxes be sent:


    -respectfully urgingauthorities to direct the government to disclose Dr. bin Ghaith’s whereaboutsand condition; and


    -respectfully urgingauthorities to ensure his well-being pending his earliest release, includingensuring regular access to family, to legal counsel of his choosing and tomedical treatment.




    Shaikh Mohammad bin RashidAl-Maktoum

    Co-Chair of the HigherNational Security Council

    Vice-President and PrimeMinister

    Office of the Prime Minister

    POB 2838


    United Arab Emirates

    Fax: +971 (4) 353-1974




    His Excellency Lt-GeneralSheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

    Minister of Interior

    Human Rights Directorate

    POB: 398

    Abu Dhabi

    United Arab Emirates

    Fax: +971 (4) 398-1119


    His Excellency SheikhAbdullah bin Zayed Al Nahya

    Minister of Foreign Affairs

    POB 1

    Abu Dhabi

    United Arab Emirates

    Fax: +971 (2) 444-7766


    The Honorable _________

    Ambassador of United ArabEmirates to [YOUR COUNTRY]




    (See aspxfor a list of UAE embassies worldwide.)


    The Honorable _________

    Ambassador of [YOUR COUNTRY]to the United Arab Emirates





    Scholars at Risk

    New York University

    194 Mercer Street, 4th floor

    New York, NY 10012 USA

    Fax: +1 (212) 995-4402



    To view a model letter ofappeal, as well as a copy of SAR’s letter, please visit: