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Pakistani Dentist Released from United Arab Emirates

June 22, 2010

On June 8, 2010, Pakistani dentist and university professor Dr. Ayyaz Ali Khan was released from prison in the United Arab Emirates. He was detained for 65 days without charge or trial. When his wife requested information about him, however, the UAE security forces told her that they had no record of his arrest or detention. The CHR wrote to the UAE authorities shortly after Dr. Khan’s arrest to express concern about his apparent disappearance, to request information about his whereabouts, and to urge his release if he was not charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offense. He reportedly was taken to the airport in Abu Dhabi blindfolded, permitted to telephone his family and was immediately put on a plane to Islamabad.

Dr. Khan is head of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al-Nahyan Hospital’s Dental Department in Lahore, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at Rifa International University in Islamabad, and Associate Visiting Professor at Ras al-Khaymah College of Dental Sciences of the Ras al-Khaymah Medical and Health Sciences University in the United Arab Emirates. He traveled to the United Arab Emirates on March 31, 2010, to complete the set-up of a dental project at the Ras al-Khaymah University’s Faculty of Dentistry. On April 5, Dr. Khan was arrested by UAE security officers at the Ras al-Khaymah University’s guest house. Two other Pakistani nationals who were working at the same university reportedly were arrested that day as well. On April 22, 2010, a spokesperson at the Pakistani consulate in the UAE informed the press that the consulate had been told that it would be “temporarily” denied access to Dr. Khan until the investigation is completed, that he had been transferred to Abu Dhabi for interrogation by the Federal Security Department, and that he would likely be released on April 23.

For more detailed information on Dr. Khan's case, please see his case summary.