Canadian detained in U.A.E. without charge to stand trial on Monday

TORONTO -- A Canadian man detained without charge in the United Arab Emirates for more than a year is expected to finally learn what he's accused of at a trial set to begin on Monday.

See Full Article

Salim Alaradi, a 46-year-old Canadian of Libyan origin, was running a business in Dubai when he was abruptly arrested in August 2014.

His family and lawyers have received no explanation from U.A.E. authorities for his continued detention and there have been allegations he has been tortured behind bars.

Alaradi's trial will be held at the State Security Chamber of the U.A.E. Federal Supreme Court, a venue his Canadian lawyer said suggests he will be charged with terrorism-related offences.

"One way or another it appears that the U.A.E. wants to bring this file to a close," Paul Champ told The Canadian Press. "We were hopeful that the Emiratis were simply going to release Salim but unfortunately they've decided to lay charges."

There are concerns Alaradi may not get a fair trial since he will have no right of appeal and alleged forced confessions may be made admissible, Champ said.

Nonetheless, the legal process is being seen as a significant development in Alaradi's case which had appeared stalled until now.

"He is happy to learn that there are charges because at least it signals that the end of this ordeal may be near," Champ said. "We think that after holding him for so long maybe the U.A.E. authorities felt that they were obliged to charge him with something, but we're hopeful that he will be acquitted of any charges."

Alaradi was born in Libya and immigrated to Canada from the U.A.E. in 1998, settling down in Vancouver with his family. He decided to return to the U.A.E. in 2007 to run a home appliance business with his brother.

He and his family were on vacation when he was arrested.

For two months his family didn't know if he was dead or alive. They then found out he was being held at an Abu Dhabi prison, though they have never been told why.

Their communication with Alaradi has been limited but in one prison visit early on in his detention, Alaradi's wife noticed a burn mark on his hand, prompting fears he had been mistreated.

Amnesty International has noted that Alaradi was among 10 men of Libyan origin detained in the U.A.E. at the same time.

Champ said Alaradi's Libyan roots may have something to do with his detention but noted that the Canadian man was not involved in Libyan affairs.

"We haven't learned of anything that could be remotely held against him," said Champ. "Mr. Alaradi is not political in any way, he's not involved in any groups or associations, he has not spoken out against the government."

Global Affairs Canada said Canadian officials "at very high levels" have raised concerns about Alaradi with U.A.E. authorities.

"The Government of Canada is seized with the seriousness of Mr. Alaradi's case and is engaged in efforts to ensure a prompt and just resolution," said spokeswoman Diana Khaddaj. "Canada takes allegations of mistreatment and torture extremely seriously."

Canadian officials have asked to be allowed to attend Alaradi's trial, Khaddaj added.

The Canadian response to Alaradi's case appears to have improved since the fall of 2015, said Champ.

"Canadian consular officials have assured me that Mr. Alaradi is one of their most important consular files in the world," he said. "They have been visiting or trying to visit him every single week since late September. That is a change."

Alaradi's family, meanwhile, has mixed feelings about the start of his trial.

"I'm afraid that they'll charge him with things my father has never done," Alaradi's daughter Marwa said in an interview. "But I believe that my father's going to speak out ... so I hope it goes well."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Canadian citizen convicted in absentia in deadly Bulgaria bus bombing

    Canada News CBC News
    A Bulgarian court sentenced two men of Lebanese origin for life on Monday over a 2012 bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver, an act Bulgarian authorities have blamed on Lebanese Shia Muslim group Hezbollah. Source
  • U.K. faces soaring COVID-19 death rate unless it acts fast, medics warn

    World News CBC News
    Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from COVID-19 within weeks unless Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government moves urgently to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said on Monday. Source
  • U.K. science advisers warn of darker COVID-19 days ahead

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's top medical advisers on Monday painted a grim picture of exponential growth in illness and death if nothing is done to control the second wave of coronavirus infections, laying the groundwork for the government to announce new restrictions later this week. Source
  • Madrid adopts virus restrictions exposing poor-rich divide

    World News CTV News
    MADRID -- Police in the Spanish capital and its surrounding towns on Monday stopped people coming in and out of some working-class neighbourhoods that have been partially locked down to stem Europe's fastest coronavirus spread. The police controls will only relay information on the restrictions for the first two days. Source
  • Toddler dies in her sleep after parents are told by doctor she only has the flu

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The distraught mother of a two-year-old girl who died in her sleep three days after being told by doctors her daughter only had the flu says she feels the health-care system failed her. It has been nine months since Newmarket Ont. Source
  • EU weighs Lukashenko sanctions, meets his Belarus opponent

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- European Union foreign ministers on Monday were weighing whether to impose sanctions on dozens of Belarus officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko, after holding talks with his exiled main opponent. The EU has drawn up a list of around 40 people it could hit with asset freezes and travel bans in response to irregularities in the Aug. Source
  • Emmys 2020: A glitch-free technical triumph and a thrilling comedy sweep for Schitt's Creek

    World News CBC News
    It was a night of pitchy Zoom-audio, surprisingly few technical issues and historic wins — particularly for Canadian comedy Schitt's Creek — at the 72nd annual Emmy Awards on Sunday night. Though organizers had to dispatch nearly 130 camera-kits to nominees around the globe to accommodate stars staying at home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, everything came together despite early predictions of dropped calls and general disaster. Source
  • Hospitalizations, deaths will follow Ontario's COVID-19 surge, but how many remains unclear

    Canada News CBC News
    The fresh spike in new COVID-19 cases in Ontario is not yet bringing an equivalent spike in hospital patients or deaths from the coronavirus, but experts say it's too early to draw conclusions. Over the past week, as Premier Doug Ford and his government slapped new restrictions on private gatherings, Ontario reported an average of 335 new confirmed COVID-19 infections daily. Source
  • Pediatricians sound alarm on lack of support needed to meet flu shot demand amid COVID-19

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario pediatricians say their calls for the financial and logistical support needed to do more flu vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic have so far gone unheeded and fear an "imminent crisis" lies ahead. "We … would like to express our urgent concerns regarding an imminent crisis in influenza vaccination," said an online petition launched on Change.org Saturday by the pediatrics section of the Ontario Medical Association. Source
  • Back to school means back to stress and anxiety for grandparents during coronavirus pandemic

    Canada News CBC News
    It's not only parents who are trying to navigate back to school for their children. Some grandparents are trying to figure out where they fit into the maze of modified classrooms, remote learning and home-schooling while many of their adult children work from home. Source