A released Libyan businessman from UAE prisons has revealed conditions of his arbitrary detention.
Rifaat Hadagha, who holds a dual Libyan-Canadian nationality, said he was tortured by UAE state security and kept in a windowless cell for 10 months without any charge.
He was among 10 Libyan businessmen who were arrested around August and September, 2014, by UAE state security officers.
Hadagha, 47, had lived in the UAE for more than 10 years and was given many honorary awards and certificates by high-ranking state officials.
In 2014, his life routine has changed. On September 09, 2014, UAE Immigration Office prevented him from boarding an Emirates flight for a business trip.
Two days later, he was driving with his wife and children when security agents, dressed in plainclothes, blocked his car and dragged him away, leaving his family in panic. Later, his house was broken into and searched by security officers who confiscated his family's passports.
Hadagha said he was taken to a secret prison and kept in a windowless cell where inhuman treatment began.
He stayed in his cell, watched over by some Nepalese, for 4 months and then he was taken to another one where he stayed the other 6 months. He was prevented from contacting his family.
"They caused me considerable health, psychological and financial losses. They terrorized my family. I can’t forget the cries of my wife and children and the state of panic that inflicted my youngest son during the assault. All this happened to me though I had never committed any crime and never violated the law in any form." He said.
Hadagha, who still can't figure out why he was kidnapped, indicated that his torture was very brutal.
‘I was placed in solitary confinement where there was a very 24-hour strong and noisy light, and I used to sleep on the floor after the guards had confiscated the mattresses. It was extremely savage. They deprived me of sleeping for more than a week. They insulted me, degraded me and mocked both me and the Libyan people." He said.
" I was punched, kicked, flogged with a stick and whipped." He added
After all kind of torture, UAE authorities offered to hire Hadagha as a secrete informant for them.
"They offered to release me, they tempted me with money and promised me to hold an important political position in Libya in exchange of being an agent for them; but I refused all that. I declined their offer because of my belief that torture, big financial loss and displacement of my family all are easier for me than betraying my country." Hadagha declares.
Hadagha was released without charge on December 27, 2014 and deported to Turkey. A month later, his wife and six children were given back their passports and left the UAE.