Christian Wilke, a British and German dual national who was working as an IT teacher, is being held in Al Ain prison in the United Arab Emirates, and has been there since October 2017, according to a Change.org petition.
The petition states that Wilke was denied a lawyer for 52 days, and unable to contact anyone outside of the prison until Christmas when he phoned his mother to speak for 5 minutes.
“Up to today we do not know what the criminal charge is,” Wilke’s mother said. “Christian mentioned ‘electronic insults’ and says this could be something like sharing the wrong post on Facebook.”
Christian Wilke is said to have lost 18 kilos (40 pounds), and is being held in unsanitary conditions.
“There are rats running around and cockroaches in the food. Being there he developed pneumonia and was denied adequate medical care,” Wilke’s mother said. “His blanket has not been changed for four months. He was put under pressure and sleep deprivation. The light was switched on for four weeks when he was in pre-trial detention. During the day it is too hot in prison and during the night it is too cold.”
Christian’s mother said her son has been “struggling to survive for four months,” and pleads for signatures to appeal to the United Arab Emirates to release him.
At the time of this writing, the petition has received more than 187,000 signatures.