The Geneva Council for Rights and Freedoms said that the UAE denies thousands of Bidun individuals rights and privileges within their country of residence, as well as violations of the most basic human rights guaranteed.
The Human Rights Council said in a report that the UAE refuses to recognize this group as citizens, which robs them of their human and national right in the country, as the majority of them, about 15 thousand people, are the tribes of northern Arabia who settled in the UAE after the emergence of political borders in the region, in addition to a number of displaced people from areas of the eastern shore of the Gulf.
The UAE government argues that this group of citizens of other Arab and foreign countries came to the UAE in the late 1960s and early 1970s to work, and concealed their passports and identities to take advantage of the privileges of Emirati citizens. This pretext hides the slowdown in finding solutions to the problem until it has worsened significantly.
The report pointed out that this group is subjected to violations in the most basic rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international covenants, making the living of these individuals almost impossible, especially with violations affecting all sectors in the country.
The report relied on live testimonies of UAE nationals, but would prefer not to be named because of the risk that the UAE authorities would know of it.
The Council of Geneva said that the Bidun category in the UAE are denied passports except in very narrow cases; such as travel for treatment, and can be used for one time.
the council added They cannot register different houses, cars and real estate in their names, despite allowing foreigners this right without restriction or prohibition.
He pointed out that the UAE refuses to employ individuals of this category, and prohibits them from working in the government sector categorically, while tightening the screws on them in the private sector as well.
The UAE Ministry of Health imposes payment for the treatment of Bidun, which includes high fees for radiology and high analysis, where UAE nationals enjoy free treatment in government hospitals, according to the report of the Council.
Nor are Bidun children entitled to education in public schools, which led them to enroll their children in expensive private schools, which increased their burdens.
The Ministry of Health does not include Bidun births, and refuses to give birth certificates. The deceased do not have a death certificate. They are deprived of their right to life and death.
Bidun do not grant marriage or divorce documents at the Ministry of Justice, are denied a driver’s license, and their old licenses are not renewed for those who acquired them years ago.
“In 2008, the UAE government paid $ 200 million to the Comoros government as part of a secret program to grant Bidun citizenship to the Comoros,” the report said.
Following the agreement, contrary to international law, between the UAE and the Comoros, “in May 2017, the Comorian authorities placed former President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi under house arrest and questioned him in connection with a program to sell the country’s citizenship and suspicions of corruption, according to the statements of the investigative authorities.
Legal experts at the Geneva Council for Rights and Freedoms considered that “the process of issuing passports enabled the UAE to get rid of the problem of statelessness without committing the civil and political rights guaranteed to that category.”
They also considered that this is a frightening precedent, as Individual Bidun who are naturalized are at risk of being forcibly deported because they are citizens of another country, according to the papers they hold, thereby exempting their national authorities from any legal responsibility towards them.
The Geneva Council called on the UAE authorities to change their policies in dealing with individuals under the category “Bidoon” and to grant them the basic rights guaranteed by all international conventions.
He also called on her not to differentiate between any person within her territory in the right to treatment, education, movement and access to appropriate work.
The council called on the UAE to find an immediate solution and settle the situation of the Bidun by integrating them into society and giving them rights and documents.
The Human Rights Council called on the United Nations to put sufficient pressure on the UAE authorities to ensure that Bidun individuals have their right to citizenship and basic rights, in accordance with Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In 2014, UNHCR announced a plan to end statelessness by 2024, but no one knows what the future of the Bidun is, and no one has found a definitive solution to their problem. None of the countries concerned originally presented official figures on the number of bidun, according to the report.