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Send a Twitter postcard for Mohammed al-Roken's freedom

Lawyer Mohammed al-Roken is well-known in human rights circles in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – if you’ve been at the receiving end of the government repression that rears its head in the Emirates, you’ll want him defending you.

Mohammed al-Roken defended the UAE 5 in 2011, five men accused of ‘publicly insulting’ the authorities. The UAE 5 were a key case for Amnesty in 2011, emblematic of a crackdown against criticism. Between Mohammed’s legal work and our campaigning, their sentences were commuted by UAE’s president.

Fast-forward three years and its al-Roken behind bars, given a 10-year prison sentence for ‘attempting to overthrow the government’.

Join our photo action and send a tweet for Dr al-Roken

His crime? Calling for political reform alongside other lawyers, judges and teachers. 94 of them – the ‘UAE 94’ – were put on trial together and many weren’t allowed to see a lawyer, or were tortured. They’ve all been denied any right to appeal the verdict – a right the authorities are obliged to provide under international law.

Mohammed al-Roken has been an Amnesty supporter for years, has defended cases we’ve campaigned on, and often informed our work in the UAE. Now it’s our turn to come to his aid.

Help us get the UAE’s attention

The UAE is particularly sensitive about public criticism of its affairs (see the UAE 5). We want to embarrass the UAE authorities and show people the reality behind the slick PR. We need as many people speaking out as possible to make that happen and to pressure the authorities.

And we need your help.

Join our photo action, show your support for Dr al-Roken, and call for his release

As well as embarrassing the UAE, we want to show our support to Mohammed al-Roken. Mohammed loves travel, so please join us by sending him a virtual postcard saying ‘Wish You Were Here’.

All you need to do is:

  1. Download and print our placard – or write ‘#WishYouWereHere in ______, @DrAlRoken’ on some paper
  1. Take a selfie with your placard or sign
  1. Upload it to Twitter with the tweet: ‘#WishYouWereHere in _____. @DrAlRoken. @HHShkMohd, release this prisoner of conscience now!
    Don’t forget that second part – we need to make sure the Prime Minister of the UAE - @HHShkMohd – sees every tweet!

Then, please send a tweet asking your friends to do the same:

Tweet.@DrAlRoken is in jail simply because he spoke up for his beliefs. Join us and call for his release:!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');

Not on Twitter? You can leave a message on the Prime Minister’s Facebook page. Here’s a suggested message:

Your Highness, please use your influence to free prisoner of conscience and human rights lawyer Dr Mohammed al-Roken. Speaking out is not a crime!

See all of your messages so far

View the Tweetwall

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About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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I would love to participate in this campaign but I do not use Twitter nor do I use Facebook! I have no use for either private messaging system whatsoever, so it would be good if Amnesty would provide an email address for people like me to send an email or a link to sign a petition. I must sign about 3 or 4 petitions a day and email is the easiest way for me to send out my communications. Even easier than email is to participate in signing a petition. Please Amnesty, make it easy for me to make my voice heard!

Jherek 9 years ago

Hi Jherek, for Mohammed's case our researchers confirmed the most important thing we could all do was publicly appeal for his release, which is why we've focused on Twitter and Facebook for this particular action.

But it's not the only thing you can do - you can also write an email directly to the President of the UAE as part of our Write for Rights campaign. <a href="">Here's all the details on Mohammed al-Roken, and who to write to</a>.

Thanks for supporting our campaigns!

EmersonStaff 9 years ago