موقع إخباري يهتم بفضائح و انتهاكات دولة الامارات

Human Rights Groups Condemn Diplomatic Silence on UAE’s Unfair Mass Trial

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An international human rights group criticized the lack of diplomatic response to the unfair mass trial of prisoners of conscience in the UAE, urging governments to monitor the sentencing and advocate for the release of those accused.

Human Rights Watch urged allies of the UAE, including the US, UK, and EU member states, to publicly address the trial of approximately 84 political dissidents and activists. The organization also stated in a statement obtained by Emirates Leaks that these governments should deploy observers to the sentencing hearing scheduled for July 10, 2024.

In December 2023, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) hosted by the UAE, authorities initiated charges against about 84 individuals in the country’s second-largest trial. The charges were reportedly in response to their involvement in forming an independent advocacy group back in 2010.

Human Rights Watch reported that the trial was marked by serious violations of fair trial standards and due process. These included allegations of ill-treatment amounting to torture, judges influencing witnesses, violations of the principle against double jeopardy, and sessions conducted in secrecy.

Joy Shea, UAE researcher at Human Rights Watch, urged the United States, Britain, the European Union, and other allies of the UAE to support the 84 Emiratis facing life sentences solely for expressing their political views and advocating for human rights.

She also emphasized, “The UAE’s allies should demand the prompt and unconditional release of these activists, meet with their families, send observers to the trial, and publicly denounce the unfair proceedings.”

Regarding the statement issued on January 6, Emirati authorities accused the 84 defendants of forming a clandestine organization, the “Committee for Justice and Dignity,” allegedly aimed at carrying out acts of violence and terrorism within the country.

According to the organization, these accusations appear to result from the abusive UAE anti-terrorism law issued in 2014, which imposes penalties of up to life imprisonment, and even death, against anyone who establishes, organizes, or manages similar organizations.

On May 10, the official Emirates News Agency announced that the ruling in this case would be issued on July 10.

Human Rights Watch urged governments to send observers to monitor the trial sessions, which the UAE claims are open to the public.

According to Human Rights Watch, as far as they are aware, no embassy in the UAE has dispatched observers to monitor the trial.

Human Rights Watch also asked governments to condemn due process violations and call for the immediate and unconditional release of the accused.

The UAE’s allies have not issued any public statements calling for their release or expressing concern about the trial proceedings, despite many of those same governments regularly claiming that human rights are an important part of their foreign policy.

Several of the 84 defendants were reportedly held incommunicado for at least a year and experienced abusive detention conditions, including physical assaults, denial of necessary medication and medical care, constant loud music, and forced nudity.

According to the UAE Detainee Advocacy Center, in 2013 nearly 60 defendants were convicted for their association with the Justice and Dignity Committee, raising concerns about UAE authorities violating the principle that prohibits repeated trials for the same offense after receiving a final ruling.

While a January statement by the Emirates News Agency claimed that the case was “public,” the UAE authorities imposed severe restrictions on attendance at the hearings, even for family members, and kept secret the basic details of the case, including the names of all the accused.

UAE authorities also restricted lawyers’ access to case files and court documents. According to relatives, lawyers appeared not to have physical or electronic copies of court documents, accessing them only on a screen in a supervised room under security personnel observation.

Informed sources said that lawyers are not allowed to take pictures of documents, and are only allowed to take handwritten notes.

Shea said: “This is the second largest unfair mass trial against political opponents and human rights activists in the history of the UAE without the international community raising any concerns.” The UAE has long used its economic and security relations to prevent criticism of its human rights record, but the silence of its allies has rarely reached this extent.”