موقع إخباري يهتم بفضائح و انتهاكات دولة الامارات

Detention and Deportation: The Struggles Faced by Palestine Supporters in the UAE

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The UAE is witnessing a noticeable decrease in the voices of those in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and the disappearance of opinions denouncing Israeli crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip, according to what human rights circles confirm.

This occurs as global solidarity with the Palestinian people intensifies in response to the genocidal actions of the Israeli occupation since October 7. Protests condemning these crimes are gaining significant traction, extending into American and European universities.

The UAE Detainees Advocacy Center stated that the initial compassion shown by UAE authorities towards social media posts supporting the Palestinian cause has clearly faded, giving way to threats, summons, and deportations.

The Center for Human Rights reported that this instilled fear in those who support the Palestinian cause, making them reluctant to express their sympathy or condemn the crimes of the Israeli occupation.

Since October 7 until the time of this report, the UAE Detainees Advocacy Center has recorded the arrests and summons of dozens of citizens and foreign residents by UAE authorities due to their social media posts opposing Israeli crimes or supporting the Palestinian resistance.

According to the Jordanian citizen interviewed by the center, a State Security officer questioned him extensively about his views on Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, and his political beliefs. He was later released after being warned that while sympathy for the Palestinian cause was acknowledged, praising Palestinian resistance was prohibited by Emirati authorities.

As for the second case, it was of a Palestinian resident in the UAE, who ran a group on the “WhatsApp” application, where she was surprised by a call from an officer from the Emirati State Security Service asking her to prevent publications related to the Palestinian issue.

When she told him that she had nothing to do with what others wrote in the group, he told her that she had only two options: either delete the group permanently, or stop all types of comments on the group, which is what actually happened as she restricted the posts to the group’s management.

In December, the Center documented a third case, of a Jordanian resident working in the UAE. The Emirati authorities arrested him for 7 days and interrogated him because of a tweet he wrote related to Palestine, then he was deported to Jordan.

In this regard, the Center spoke to a group of workers in the Emirates who hold Arab nationalities, and while many of them expressed their fear of speaking to the Center, one of them told the Center that solidarity with the Palestinian cause is not absolutely prohibited, but the problem is that no one knows what the permissible limits are.

Accordingly, cases of summons and arrest have spread fear among residents of the UAE, as there are always rumors of a person being summoned or deported.

He indicated that, based on cases he is aware of, showing support for Palestine is acceptable as long as it remains general and avoids specific political references or criticism of the Israeli occupation. However, praising Palestinian resistance, displaying related symbols like triangles, or openly criticizing the occupation is not permitted.

He explained that expressing general sympathy or religious prayers in solidarity poses no issues. However, extending sympathy to actions like boycotting Israeli or American goods could lead to arrest or summons.

He told the center that he knows people who have been warned and threatened by State Security because of their call to publicly boycott Israeli and American goods.

Although most of the cases documented by the Center occurred between November and December last year, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor reported additional incidents in March and April. In a report published last month, the Center highlighted two deportation cases linked to postings about the Palestinian issue.

According to the Monitor, the first case involved a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian descent employed by a Dubai contracting company for five years. He was summoned by Emirati authorities for questioning on April 10 regarding Facebook posts condemning Israeli military actions and genocide in Gaza.

The Monitor noted that after interrogation focusing on his expressions of opinion, he was detained and subsequently released three days later with a deportation order, mandating his immediate exit from the UAE without the opportunity to hire legal representation or file an appeal.

As for the second case, it was an Egyptian citizen who was interrogated on March 25 due to his publications denouncing the Arab and Islamic positions on the famine occurring in Gaza during the month of Ramadan and calling for an end to all forms of normalization with Israel.

The Monitor reported that following extensive questioning at a security center, he was notified of his termination from employment at a local company. Subsequently, a deportation order was issued, requiring him to leave the country within 48 hours, with no opportunity to appeal the decision or pursue legal recourse.

The report disclosed that the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor received information indicating that security services in the Emirates had initiated a campaign of intimidation within universities. This included directives to prohibit any protests against Israel and warnings to academics and student activists of potential dismissal for non-compliance.

According to the report, UAE authorities called in several academics from universities, representatives of Arab and Islamic communities, and social media opinion leaders to State Security Service headquarters. There, they were cautioned against organizing events in solidarity with Gaza or publicly expressing anti-Israel opinions.

The UAE Detainees Advocacy Center concluded that while the world is witnessing widespread solidarity with the Palestinian people, the situation in the UAE is taking a completely different turn.

After initially showing tolerance towards publications expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause, Emirati authorities have shifted to implementing strict measures, such as issuing threats, summonses, and deportation, against individuals who support Palestinians or criticize the Israeli occupation.

These measures spread fear among residents and citizens, making them reluctant to express their sympathy for the Palestinian cause. As the cases documented by the Center show, there is a noticeable increase in cases of summonses and arrests.