(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Libyan Canadian Salim Alaradi, who was released from prison two weeks ago after being wrongfully detained in the United Arab Emirates for nearly two years, arrived in Canada with his family on Monday.
“Ladies and gentleman, I’m overwhelmed to be home after the last two years,” Salim Alaradi told a news conference at Toronto Pearson International Airport upon his arrival on Monday evening.
Alaradi told reporters that there were no words to describe the emotions he felt at seeing his family after the nightmarish ordeal. He grew emotional as he described finishing the vacation that he had started with his family before he was taken from his hotel room in August 2014 by UAE State Security officials.
The UAE’s aggressive foreign policy in Libya lead to the unlawful arrest and arbitrary detainment of 10 Libyan businessmen in 2014, who were originally imprisoned on terrorism charges.
However, in March, UAE prosecutors suddenly dropped the charges, and fabricated new lesser charges that four of the men, including Alaradi, provided supplies to groups in a foreign country and collected donations without the permission of the UAE government.
The Libyan Canadian businessman was reportedly tortured and forced to sign a false confession during his detainment in a remote desert prison.
On May 31, the UAE Supreme Court judge found Alaradi to be innocent, stating that the evidence presented did not support the allegations.
His daughter Marwa and her family led an international campaign calling for his freedom including Libya. Libyans from the east to the west of the country united in speaking out and protesting for his freedom and that of the other Libyans detained as well.
Kamal Eldarat, Mohamed Eldarat, Issa Almani, Moad Al Hashmi and Adel Nasif have all been released but remain on a travel ban in the UAE with no end in sight.