what do you think about the UPR recommendations to the United Arab Emirates?

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The voting for this poll has ended on: August 2, 2018



Geneva, on December 10, 2019

On the Human Rights Day, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) remains concerned by the situation of human rights in the United Arab Emirates. Today marks the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Major human rights issues remain of concern during this day as we are about to see the end of the Year of Tolerance. The ICJHR is particularly concerned by the persistent arbitrary detention of prisoners of conscience. This year, a number of detainees have completed their prison sentences but yet have been kept in jail without legal proceedings.

The ICJHR is also concerned by the situation of dozens of victims of statelessness in the UAE. Statelessness has been used by the authorities as a form of reprisals against political detainees and their families. While the UAE is praising its alleged achievements to protect human rights and promote tolerance, a number of families of prisoners of conscience are denied their most fundamental rights. Children have been stripped of their citizenship and denied identity documents, which prevents them from accessing basic state services. Days ago, the wife of prisoner of conscience Abdul-Salam Darwish expressed the suffering she and her children were going through every day since they were arbitrarily stripped of their Emirati citizenship.

Abdul Salam Darwish was among the signatories of the 2011 reform petition. He was arrested and subjected to enforced disappearance on July 24, 2012, and later tried with no fair trial guarantees, within the “UAE 94” case and convicted to 10 years imprisonment.

Darwish was arbitrarily stripped of his citizenship, but was not the only victim of this arbitrary measure. A number of other peaceful dissidents have met the same fate, including Muhammad Abdul-Razzaq Al-Siddiq, Dr Ali Hussain Al-Hammadi, Dr Shaheen Abdullah Al-Hosani, Professor Hussein Munif Al-Jaburi, Professor Ibrahim Hassan Al-Marzouqi and Professor Ahmed Ghaith Al-Suwaidi.

This measure has even affected families of the detainees who are now stateless after their identity documents have been withdrawn from them by the Naturalization and Residency Administration in the UAE. The administration informed them that their nationality had been withdrawn and gave them some time to provide an alternative nationality, or be prosecuted for illegal residence.

This situation is extremely concerning and must be addressed without delay. Holding families accountable for the action of a relative is a serious violation of fundamental rights. The ICJHR urges the authorities to immediately address the situation of the detainees’ families, not to mention that of the detainees themselves, who have been detained for their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.

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