Mohammed Ben Zayed

17.04.2023 ( Last modified: 03.04.2023 )
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Dismissal of investigation of former crown prince, senior army official, now President of the United Arab Emirates for complicity in torture in Yemen

Type of jurisdiction

Universal Jurisdiction


Mohammed Ben Zayed, President of the UAE, former crown prince and senior army official when the facts occurred

Country of residence of suspect



The suspect was not formally charged. The investigation focused on complicity in acts of torture and in war crimes.

Current status

Case closed


Ben Zayed was accused of complicity in acts of torture perpetrated in Yemeni prisons controlled by UAE forces. He was also accused of complicity in the injuring and killing of civilians in the 2016 bombing of a funeral in Sana’a by coalition forces of which the UAE was part.


In November 2018, six Yemeni victims and the International Alliance for Defending Rights and Freedom lodged a complaint against Ben Zayed for his alleged complicity in crimes of torture and war crimes perpetrated in Yemen.

A judicial investigation was opened in October 2019.

In July 2021, the investigative judges ruled that Ben Zayed was protected by head of state immunity and dismissed the investigation. The civil parties appealed this decision.

Developments in 2022

In January 2022, the Court of Appeals confirmed the closure of the investigation.

On 12 October 2022, the civil parties referred the case to the Supreme Court.

On 16 November 2022, the Supreme Court dismissed the case, thus confirming the decision of the Court of Appeals.

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