Ministry of Justice organises course on effectiveness of trials in money laundering criminal cases

ABU DHABI, The Judicial Inspection Department, in cooperation with the Institute of Judicial Training at the Ministry of Justice, organised a training course on the effectiveness of trials in money laundering criminal cases from the perspective of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The training was presided by Dr. Tariq Ahmed Al-Rashed – Attorney General of Ajman public Prosecution and member of the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations, and the chairman of the Committee for inspection and Follow-up of Money Laundering Cases at the Office of the Attorney General.

A number of judicial members were present and many axes were discussed in the session; highlight 0n the process of mutual evaluation of the nation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the efforts of the Ministry of Justice in combating money laundering, the judiciary’s stand considering money laundering as an independent crime, methods of proving it, and the evidence for committing the crime, as well as the importance of the punishment, being proportionate and dissuasive considering the seriousness of money laundering crimes and it’s role in enhancing the state’s efforts in the effectiveness of trials to combat with money laundering crimes, were the most important ones.

In a comment on the importance of the efforts made by the Ministry of Justice in this regard, Counsellor Dr. Tariq Ahmed Al-Rashed said: “The Ministry of Justice is working to enhance the effectiveness of investigations and trials in money laundering cases as well as international judicial cooperation. Among the tangible steps taken by the Ministry in the recent period is the issuance of ministerial decisions by Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice, to establish special courts to look into the money laundering crimes in the federal judiciary in the courts of Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain and Fujairah, and to establish a specialised committee to manage frozen and confiscated assets, and the Counsel Dr. Hamad Saif Al Shamsi, State Attorney General, issued his resolution to establish a committee of 22 prosecutors for the examination and following up of money laundering cases, and one of its most prominent functions is to follow up the decisions and actions issued in the investigations of money laundering crimes at the competent prosecution offices, follow-up investigations into money laundering cases that are determined to achieve justice by convicting the accused and punishing them with appropriate and deterrent punishment, and by a routine following up of the provisions regarding confiscation of money, assets, means to achieve the goals of the Federal Public Prosecution planning in combatting money laundering. And a guideline for judges on money laundering cases and guideline for public prosecutors regarding the procedures for investigating and disposing of money laundering cases were also issued. And another guideline regarding international judicial cooperation in criminal matters, and setting priority indicators for the implementation of requests for international cooperation was also issued.

Dr Al-Rashed added, “This course was conducted within a series of training courses that the Judicial Training Institute is organising within the framework of the Ministry of Justice’s efforts to implement its operational plan in achieving the goals of the national plan to combat money laundering crimes and terrorist financing “.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Gargash chairs National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking meeting

ABU DHABI, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, NCCHT, chaired the Committee’s 48th meeting.

He welcomed the 17 committee members during a remote meeting and emphasised the importance of strengthening cooperation to support national and international efforts to combat this crime.

Moreover, he underscored the need to examine the requirements of the competent authorities in order to strengthen their role in combating this crime and protecting victims. He pointed out that the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 have not affected the implementation of such programs, as videoconferencing technology has proven to be effective in overcoming such challenges.

He underlined the importance of cooperation and coordination among UAE authorities to continue conducting public awareness campaigns and enhancing national capabilities to combat human trafficking, which is considered a form of modern slavery and human rights violation.

Furthermore, he praised the efforts of UAE institutions and governmental entities in combating this crime and noted their tireless work in combating human trafficking in local and international fora.

The Committee also discussed human rights issues in the UAE, including the latest developments raised during the meeting of the National Human Rights Committee, which is working on a national plan to strengthen efforts by concerned parties that have made many achievements in this regard in line with the UAE’s aspirations and international commitments.

The Committee also presented a number of initiatives supporting its five pillars of prevention, prosecution, punishment, protection of victims, and promotion of international cooperation, which contribute to expanding work with local and international partners through continuous communication and the activation of memoranda of understanding and joint training and workshops.

In this context, he underscored the importance of innovation in the means of cooperation and tackling the crimes of human trafficking, through digital platforms and the need to use them for the opportunities they provide in facilitating communication and cooperation between entities and partners and benefiting from the exchange of experiences.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Khalifa bin Zayed issues law amending ‘Pensions Law’ in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of State, has issued, in his capacity as Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Law No. (15) of 2020, amending some provisions of Law No. (2) of 2000 regarding civil retirement pensions and benefits for the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The law included a number of amendments that contribute to strengthening the pensions system, the first of which is increasing the maximum limit of the pensionable salary (on which the pension is calculated after retirement) for citizens working in the private sector from AED60,000 to AED200,000 as well as increasing the minimum limit of the pensionable salary from AED3,000 to AED6,000.

According to the amendments mentioned in the law, the government will bear the cost resulting from this adjustment, thus relieving those insured from any financial obligation. The law is considered effective and implemented from the date of its promulgation on May 20, 2020.


Source: Emirates News Agency

Suspect in hate crime interrogated by Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution

ABU DHABI, The Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi is interrogating a person suspected of circulating video clips over social networking platforms that are found to be incitement to hatred, racial discrimination and undermining pubic order.

The interrogation comes after the prosecution spotted clips on the accused’s YouTube channel where he used hate speech that is likely to undermine public order by inciting divisions among the various communities living in the UAE.

Within this context, the Public Prosecution called on social media users to act responsibly, adhere to the Law of the land and to respect the nation’s primary values that stress on respect for all. They urged people not to sow seeds of division among people in the name of ethnicity, religion, language or gender.

“The Freedom of opinion shall be guaranteed within the limits of law, according to Article 30 of the Constitution of the UAE,” said the Public Prosecution, citing Article 7 of the Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 which states that any person who “commits any act involving hate speech by any means of expression or by any other means, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not less than five years and to a fine not less than five hundred thousand dirhams and not exceeding one million dirhams or either one of these two penalties.”

The prosecution warned of using social media platforms in disseminating, preparing, producing or using any material, including speeches, gestures, drawings, recordings, and writings, etc., whether be it visual, audio or verbal, that can be considered a violation of UAE’s foundational principles of justice and equality and an affront to its efforts to disseminate the values of tolerance and forbearance.

The prosecution also warned it will take legal action against all violators.

Source: Emirates News Agency

43rd session of UN Human Rights Council suspended following COVID-19 concerns

GENEVA, The 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council has been cancelled following coronavirus, COVID-19, concerns.

In a statement, the UN OHCHR said that “all Council-related side events have been cancelled” as of 3rd March to 20th March 2020.

The Council sited the decision was based as per “the advice of the UN Secretary-General and UNOG Director-General, guided by the Swiss authorities.”

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE: Activist Ahmed Mansoor continues a five-month hunger strike

GCHR issues an urgent call on international bodies to visit prominent Emirati human rights defender, Ahmed Mansoor, who has been on a liquid-only hunger strike since September 2019, in protest of his dehumanizing prison conditions.

This statement was originally published on on 8 February 2020.

Prominent human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, a member of the Advisory Board of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), remains on a liquids-only hunger strike that he began in September 2019 to protest his abysmal conditions in Al-Sadr prison in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). GCHR issues this urgent appeal to the United Nations, European Union and Embassies in the UAE to seek a visit with Mansoor in prison, and to help improve his condition.

As the anniversary of Mansoor’s arrest on 20 March 2017 approaches, his health is suffering and his life is at risk. He has been held continuously in an isolation cell, which he is not allowed to leave apart from occasional family visits. A local source told GCHR recently that he has been psychologically abused to put pressure on him, and could no longer walk, since he continues the liquids-only hunger strike that he started five months ago. He also still has no mattress, no access to sunshine, and no books or television.

Mansoor first went on hunger strike for four weeks on 17 March 2019, but after the authorities permitted him to phone his sick mother and to go outside in the sun for the first time, he ended his hunger strike. He was also promised a bed. According to another source, Mansoor began his second hunger strike on 7 September 2019 after a severe beating, and broken promises by prison officials.

According to a source who contacted GCHR on 10 December 2019, after Mansoor began his hunger strike in September, he was forced to eat every few days by the guards, but they stopped force-feeding him and he was on continuous hunger strike from 14 September onwards, taking only juice and mineral water. As of mid-January, Mansoor was still on hunger strike and we have no news since then.

UAE authorities have refused to allow independent experts or monitors to visit him in prison to confirm the conditions in which he is being held. GCHR requests an independent expert such as a UN Special Rapporteur working on the thematic issues of human rights defenders, torture, arbitrary detention or freedom of expression to urgently visit Mansoor.

Furthermore, GCHR reiterates calls for the authorities to release Mansoor immediately, and while he remains in prison, to ensure he receives any medical care needed, and to provide him with the basic necessities, such as a bed with a mattress, exercise and sunshine, as well as reading materials. Keeping him in prolonged isolation amounts to torture, and violates the UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Mandela Rules.

The UAE continues to hold events in the country organised or supported by the Ministry of Tolerance, such as the upcoming Hay Festival Abu Dhabi on 25-28 February 2020, or the Dubai Expo, which runs from October 2020 to April 2021. Please watch for upcoming campaigns from GCHR and its partners.

You can also find more news about Mansoor and the human rights situation in the UAE at the Friends of Ahmed Mansoor Facebook page or Twitter, which were created after his first hunger strike in March by friends and supporters, including from GCHR.

Take Action!

Please circulate news about Ahmed Mansoor’s condition widely and tweet tagging the UN Special Procedures, asking for their help to #FreeAhmed and #GiveAhmedaBed.

Source: IFEX