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Secret Russian Center for Forced Disappearance in the Emirates

Several news are spreading that the UAE has become an international base for enforced disappearances that provides facilities for secret detention on its territory.

Following the scandal of the discovery of secret prisons of China, the USA and Jordan, a new discovery was made about the presence of a Russia as well.

Ravel Mingazov, a Tatar Muslim, was subjected to enforced disappearance in the UAE after his deportation by the US from Guantanamo Bay to the Emirates.

 Mingazov spent 15 years without charge in Guantanamo Bay before being transferred to the Emirates in January 2017. The terms of his transfer were kept secret and guarantees were given to his family and legal team that he would be released a few months later, however this was not the case.

Mengazov’s family and lawyers stated that he was a ballerina before joining the Red Army. He fled Russia for fear of religious persecution. They emphasized that he went to Afghanistan out of his desire to live in Muslim country and he was not involved in any terrorist acts.

Following the 2001 invasion, he was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan and handed over to the US for a cash prize. He was 33 at the time and is now 52.

His legal team says he is being held in horrible conditions that are worse than Guantanamo Bay and is being tortured and denied access to water and medical care due to his religious beliefs. He is currently detained under the supervision of Russian intelligence officers, and he isat risk of forcible return to Russia, which has a horrific record of torturing and incarcerating prisoners transferred from Guantanamo after dubious trials.

“The decision to send Mingazov to the UAE was made based on guarantees to his legal team that he would spend 6 months in a so-called ‘rehabilitation center’, after which he would be released for integration in the community, but this never happened,” says Nick Beals, who runs a project on secret prisons at the legal defense organization Reprieve.

Rather, he has been detained without a trial upon his arrival, and he was not released until now.”

A panel of UN experts, including the Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism Fionwala Ny Ullen, expressed “grave concern that, instead of being released in accordance with the “alleged” US resettlement agreement with the United Arab Emirates, he was kidnapped in an unknown location, which amounts to enforced disappearance.

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