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News code: 28533
Published Date: Tuesday 12 November 2019 - 16:01:20
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HRW: Political detainees languish behind bars in UAE

HRW: Political detainees languish behind bars in UAE
World  - The United Arab Emirates is hosting its second World Tolerance Summit as several activists are serving lengthy prison sentences following unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said today. The two-day conference on November 13 and 14, 2019 in Dubai under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE prime minister and the Dubai ruler, is part of UAE efforts to present itself as the “global capital of tolerance.”

UAE authorities have carried out a sustained assault on freedom of expression and association since 2011. They have employed vaguely worded and loosely interpreted provisions in the country's penal code and other laws to imprison peaceful critics, political dissidents, and human rights activists. They include Ahmed Mansoor, an award winning human rights activist and member of the Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee; Mohammed al Roken, a university professor and human rights lawyer; and Nasser bin Ghaith, a prominent academic.

"Despite its assertions about tolerance, the UAE government has demonstrated no real interest in improving its human rights record," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "To truly prove itself tolerant, the UAE should start by releasing all those unjustly imprisoned for not toeing the official line."

"The UAE cannot credibly promote itself as a tolerant state while men like Ahmed Mansoor, Nasser bin-Ghaith, and Mohammed al-Roken, who risked their freedom to make the UAE a better and more just place, languish behind bars," Whitson said.

Prior to their convictions, the government repeatedly harassed and arrested all three men for their work and their criticism of the UAE's human rights record.

 

News Code: 28533
Published Date: Tuesday 12 November 2019 - 16:01:20
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