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UAE tortured Libyan-Canadian for alleged Brotherhood links: Amnesty

Dubai police have not giving a reason for his arrest, but Amnesty believes that he is suspected of having links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood
Salim al-Aradi has been in detention in Dubai since 29 August, 2014 (AFP)

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have tortured a Libyan-Canadian man who has been held for a year on suspicion of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Amnesty International said on Friday.

Salim al-Aradi has been in detention since 29 August 2014. While the Dubai police have thus far not giving a reason for his arrest, the watchdog said that it believed the authorities suspect Arabi of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in the UAE and was declared a terrorist organisation in November 2014. 

Aradi is "believed to have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated in custody. His health is said to be deteriorating rapidly and he has been denied access to adequate medical care," said Amnesty in a statement.

"The unlawful treatment of Salim al-Aradi demonstrates the extreme tactics the UAE authorities are resorting to in the name of protecting national security," said Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa deputy director Said Boumedouha.

The group said that Aradi was among 10 Libyan businessmen arrested in the UAE, four of whom were released in December and deported to Turkey. 

The UAE has not seen any of the pro-reform protests that have swept other Arab countries since 2011, including fellow Gulf states Bahrain and Oman.

But authorities have stepped up a crackdown on dissent and calls for democratic reform. Most of those targeted have been Islamists. 

A rare mass trial of 41 people, accused of seeking to overthrow the government and of having links with "terrorists," opened on Monday.

According to the official WAM news agency, the defendants include both Emiratis and foreign nationals, who allegedly wanted to "seize power and establish a caliphate".

It was not immediately clear if the defendats are believed to have links with the Islamic State group which self-proclaimed a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq last year.