US/Egyptian citizen faces extradition from UAE to Egypt for criticizing Sisi

American/Egyptian citizen, political commentator, and critic of Sisi, Sherif Osman, is now facing extradition from UAE to Egypt after calling for protests during COP27

The dual nationality citizen who lives in Massachusetts has been arrested on a trip to the United Arab Emirates and is now facing possible extradition to Egypt after he made a video calling on Egyptians to protest during the most recent U.N. climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The 46-year-old Sherif Osman is a former Egyptian Army officer who has become a vocal critic of Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Osman was arrested by two plainclothes officers in UAE on 6 November, two days after he arrived there, coming from the United States.

Sherif Osman was arrested in Dubai during a family visit to the United Arab Emirates on 6 November 2022. He was arrested on the basis of a red notice issued by INTERPOL at Egypt’s request.

His arrest is likely due to a video he had posted on his YouTube channel in which he called for a peaceful protest during the visit of U.S. President to Egypt to attend COP27.

He is facing deportation to Egypt where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be subjected to torture.

Sherif Osman is a former Egyptian army officer who has been an outspoken critic of the Egyptian regime, including on his YouTube channel.

On 31 October 2022, Osman posted a video on his YouTube channel calling for peaceful protests on 11 November during the visit of U.S. President Joe Biden to Egypt during COP27, commonly referred to as the “11/11 protest”.

On 4 November 2022, Osman arrived in Dubai for a family visit. Two days later, on November 6, he was outside a restaurant when two men dressed in civilian clothes and driving a black car approached him and asked him to follow them.

After they abducted him, his family enquired with various authorities. Six hours later, they were informed that he was detained at the Police Headquarters in Dubai. On 8 November, he was transferred to Dubai Central Prison, where he remains detained to date.

Also, on 8 November 8, he was brought before the Public Prosecutor, who informed him that he was arrested on the basis of a red notice issued by INTERPOL at Egypt’s request.

The Prosecutor vaguely referred to Osman’s videos dating back to 2019.

According to the U.S. consulate, he is held due to speaking negatively against Egyptian government institutions.

However, as he had already been travelling to Dubai in 2020 and never faced arrest, there is reason to believe that the timing of his arrest is in reprisal for posting his video about COP27.

To date, he remains in detention in Dubai Central Prison and is at risk of deportation to Egypt.

As there are reasonable grounds to believe that the red notice might result from Osman’s exercise of the rights and freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), MENA Rights Group asked the Commission for the control of INTERPOL’s Files to cancel the red notice against Osman on 18 November 2022.

On 21 November 2022, MENA Rights Group requested the intervention of the Special Rapporteur against torture, asking her to intervene urgently with the Emirati authorities to urge them not to extradite Osman to Egypt and to release him immediately.

An extradition would constitute a violation of the principle of non-refoulement enshrined under article 3 of the Convention against Torture, to which the UAE is a party.