More than 40 human rights organizations are calling for an end to human rights violations in the UAE
More than 40 human rights organizations called on the UAE authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to expression and to stop human rights violations in the country.
In a petition launched by the Support the UAE Detainees campaign, the organizations highlighted that the UAE authorities continue their continuous assault on human rights and freedoms by targeting human rights activists and enacting repressive laws.
The petition, a copy of which Emirates Leaks received, urged an end to all attacks and harassment of human rights defenders in the UAE.
The petition said that the UAE authorities have been detaining at least 60 Emirati human rights defenders, civil society activists, and political dissidents for more than ten years, who were arrested in 2012 because of their calls for reform and democracy.
It added that more than three-quarters of these prisoners had completed their sentences and were still in arbitrary detention. The authorities refuse to release them, claiming that they still pose a “terrorist threat” based on vague laws that allow for their indefinite detention.
The petition pointed out that the UAE authorities have issued a series of repressive laws in recent years, including the new cybercrime law restricting Internet activity.
The signatories to the petition expressed their deep concern about the human rights situation in the UAE, particularly the severe restrictions imposed by the authorities on human rights, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which seriously undermine the work of civil society and the space for political opposition in the country.
It also called on the UAE authorities to end restrictions imposed on civic space, and support the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, stressing that such restrictions contradict the “United Nations Conference on Climate Change” (COP 28) that the UAE will host from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
The petition stated that the severe restrictions imposed by the UAE authorities in recent years would hinder the full and meaningful participation of journalists, activists, human rights defenders, civil society, youth groups and representatives of indigenous peoples in COP28.
The petition indicated that civil society actors would struggle to perform their role effectively by pressing for ambitious measures to address the climate crisis in a country with such a miserable human rights record.
The petition asserted that the UAE, as the host country for COP28, jeopardizes any potential positive outcome of the conference if it does not immediately stop its ongoing human rights violations and lift restrictions on civic space.
Among the signatories to the petition are the UAE Detainees Advocacy Center, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.