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Amnesty International condemns the comprehensive repression in the UAE and the persecution of opinion activists

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Amnesty International condemned the comprehensive repression in the UAE and the persecution of opinion activists, highlighting the severe restrictions imposed by the Abu Dhabi authorities on public freedoms.

This came within a comprehensive report of the international organization entitled (Silence is the master of the situation: the persecution of activists in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries).

The organization said that since 2012 the UAE has detained more than 60 people for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, including the mass trial called the UAE-94 case.

She stated that so far, only one man among the group of ninety-four has been released – the other men were sentenced to between seven and ten years in prison in the UAE-94 case – and have remained arbitrarily detained in prison after serving their sentences without any legal justification.

The organization highlighted the UAE authorities’ imposition of restrictions on freedom of expression, and its taking measures to silence its critics, including on social and political issues.

It noted that in 2017, Ahmed Mansoor, the last man to publicly criticize the authorities from within the country, was arrested and brought to another unfair trial.

The organization noted that the UAE authorities continue to commit grave human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, cruel and inhuman treatment of detainees, suppression of freedom of expression, and violation of the right to privacy.

The UAE also continues to deny stateless persons the right to obtain citizenship, affecting their access to a number of services. Courts handed down death sentences, and executions were reported.

The organization warned that in July 2021, “Project Pegasus” revealed the vast extent of the breaches facilitated by the cyber-monitoring company “NSO Group” and its clients from countries.

The project showed that dozens of journalists, activists and politicians around the world were illegally monitored, in violation of their human rights. Media organizations indicated that the UAE is among the list of potential clients of the NSO Group.

In July 2021, it was revealed that it was one of 11 countries that had purchased software from the NSO Group, a company specializing in electronic espionage.

Amnesty International, as a participant in Project Pegasus, has conducted advanced forensic technical checks on a number of mobile phones for traces of the Pegasus spy programme.

The organization concluded that Pegasus software had been used to hack the phone of David Haye, a British citizen who had been in contact with Sheikha Latifa, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, who was captured at sea by Indian and Emirati commandos while trying to escape from the United Arab Emirates in March. March 2018.

In May, the Family Division of the British High Court of Justice concluded that the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates had ordered the NSO Group to hack the phones of his ex-wife and two of her lawyers in Britain.

In September, the research organization Citizen Lab confirmed that NSO Group’s spyware had been used against Emirati dissident Alaa Al-Siddiq, who died in a car accident in Britain in June.