Informed sources revealed that the head of the National Human Rights Authority in the UAE, Maqsoud Cruz, was reprimanded for his briefing on relief operations during the recent torrential rains and floods in parts of the country.
The sources told Emirates Leaks that Khalid bin Mohammed bin Zayed, the president’s son, the notorious head of the state security apparatus, phoned Cruz shortly after his statement and severely reprimanded him.
According to the sources, Khalid bin Zayed insulted Cruz because of what he considered a reference to the shortcomings of the competent authorities in the Emirates and demanded him to remain silent and not to move except with direct instructions from him.
Following the reprimand, the official Emirates News Agency, WAM, deleted the news regarding the statement of the National Human Rights Authority regarding the briefing on relief operations, followed quickly by local newspapers.
The deletion of the statement constituted a severe embarrassment to the National Human Rights Authority in the Emirates, as well as the reprimand of its president and new evidence that it is just a propaganda body that follows security orders from Abu Dhabi and does not have any actual powers.
Seven foreign workers were killed due to government palaces in the Emirates in the face of torrential rains that have recently hit several regions in the country.
They died in light of the poor facilities in which they reside, amid sharp criticism in the state of the government’s failure to deal with the crisis, especially in Fujairah.
This body was established in August 2021, headed by Maqsoud Cruz, a member of the Emirati army, without taking steps related to the human rights situation in the Emirates.
The authorities have not yet published the authority’s law issued about a year ago and did not clarify its powers, amid confirmation that it is a “miserable attempt” by the Abu Dhabi authorities to whitewash its media image.
The UAE authority ignored the statements of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Marie Lawlor, in which she condemned the detention of human rights defenders without legal justification and left them without a response, contenting themselves with the promotional work of the authority.
The commission was satisfied with holding press conferences and media meetings within activities under the public relations and media category without practising any actual activities related to its name. It did not collect information about prisoners of conscience, for example, and did not refer to them from near or far.
The commission did not inspect the penal facilities or hold any meeting with human rights organizations to obtain information, nor did it publish an email to receive complaints.
It also did not conduct field research, such as visiting prisoners and listening to them. It did not try to communicate with the families of the detainees and learn about their suffering in the absence of their children.
The Emirati announcement of the establishment of the authority raised many questions about the fundamental role it would play. However, the real goal behind its establishment is to whitewash the violations of the authority and cover up its crimes and serve the organs of power, not to protect the rights of citizens and residents on state land, which is reinforced its business.
The Freedom House Index, which evaluates the extent to which countries are democratic and open, ranks the UAE as “not free”. Researchers wrote that the country has “one of the most restrictive press laws in the Arab world.” In addition, “domestic human rights activists are at risk of arrest, prosecution and ill-treatment in custody,” according to the report.