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Geneva, February 11, 2015

The UAE authorities shed collective sanctions on political opponents who were arrested and exiled as part of a systematic policy designed to lay pressure on families and parents to abandon their demand for reform and opposition to the government and tiring them. Among these violations, which we were informed by the families of the detainees and opponents are: 

  • Prevent the completion of graduate studies in public universities 
  • Humiliating inspection during a visit detainees
  • Prevent private visits
  • Expelled from the job 
  • Allow them to visit once a week during class  
  • A travel ban and renew passports for narrowing the pressure on the father.

We have some cases that confirm these practices contrary to the rights of the child. 

1.    Inhibition of the completion of the study

The example of Aisha Hussein al-Jabri 

The Ministry of Higher Education in the UAE, in flagrant violation of the right to learn and fundamental freedoms, prevented the student Aisha Hussein al-Jabri, daughter of political prisoner Hussein Al -Jabri from registration in the CEPA test exam, which is to test the efficiency of educational skills and one of the principal conditions for admission to the university. 

Her brother, Mohammed Hussein al-Jabri has met ministry officials on April 27, 2014 who told him the existence of instructions "from outside the ministry" to cancel Aisha file and not registered her although she possessed all the conditions and without giving reasons. Knowing that the registration was by email. This means that the ministry exercised control even on electronic records and filters unwanted files without respect for the law and this is what happened to Aisha Hussein al-Jabri. 

Following this meeting, her brother has submitted a complaint on April 29, 2014 to explain to the Ministry of Supervision that the deprivation of his sister of university education is an injustice measure because she did not commit a punishable sin to be deprived of her right. 

On 1 May 2014, Mr. Mohammed Hussein Al-Jabri received a response from the Ministry informing him of the rejection of the appeal without giving reasons and closes in front of him any other way to register his sister. Aisha and Mohammed are children of Hussein al-Jabri prisoner of conscience convicted in the "UAE94" trial and members of his family are exposed to a number of harassment and grievances starting to expel his son from his job and prevented from travelling and then deprived of his daughter to go to university. 

By preventing Aisha from university, UAE have violated: 

- Article 28 of the United Arab Emirates constitution, which states, "the punishment is purely personal ", while the families of political prisoners subjected to collective punishment in clear violation of the Constitution 

- Article 17 of the Constitution, which states "Education is a fundamental element for the progress of society which is compulsory in its primary stage and free at all stages within the Union, and puts the law needed to spread education and circulated various levels and the elimination of illiteracy plans." 

- Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which emphasizes that "States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status. " 

- The second paragraph of Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that "States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members. " 

2.     Restrictions on visiting detained parents

Authorities exercise restrictions on relatives and children of political prisoners continuously and thereby deprive dozens of children from seeing periodically their detained father. Among these restrictions are:

  • Allows for only four members of the family to visit the prisoner, which deprives part of the family from seeing Father continuously. And deprives some children to meet with their detained father naturally in a family ambiance 
  • Visits take place in the morning at the same school time of the child, which deprives them of the visit 
  • Prevent the visit on holidays and occasions to punish and abuse of detainees and their families.
  • Many opponents are subject to enforced disappearance before trial or release and remains without parents and children connect for the duration of disappearances. The authorities do not inform them about the places of detention and reasons for the detention. Children suffer because of these practices, a state of fear and anxiety, which affect their psychological state and their studies and prevent them from the right to the information. 

This is a flagrant violation of Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child about "detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child."

While authorities often deny knowledge of forcibly disappeared father and leave, sons and family in wait and worry for long periods. 

The case of Ahmed Mulla 

On May 1, 2014, troops from Al-Qusais arrested Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Al-Mulla in Dubai without clear reasons. Al Qusais Police convene Al-Mulla by phone. They contacted him by night at ten o'clock and asked him to get to the center immediately. Conforming to  the call, Al-Mulla went to the police station accompanied by his son. Shortly after his arrival, the officers conducted him from the back door of the center towards the headquarters of residence Almuzher 2 while his son was waiting for him outside the center. Upon arriving home, Ahmed Mulla contacts his wife to open the door without saying a word about his arrest. She opened the front door to enter the four black cars of James type and other ordinary cars, twelve polices got out them, some are dressed in black with their faces hidden, including civilian agents. 

Police ruled in the house more than two hours: from eleven at night to one morning under the gaze of children. They moved up to the top floor where the bedrooms were searched, without leaving any trace on the inspection. Everything was fixed up except one room where traces of inspection are clear. 

Before exiting the house, they also searched cars of Ahmed. Then Ahmed Al-Mulla let members of his family and left with the police. The arrest took place before the eyes of his wife and children and one of his relatives. In the meantime, his son was still in front of Al Qusais police station waiting for his father until the procedure is finished, where the family had contacted him and told him what happened, as the police prevented them from doing any telephone conversation during the inspection. 

Case of Badr Al-Bahri

Security guards of Al-Qusais arrested on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 Hussein Badr Al Abdullah Al-Bahri and he was transported to Abu Dhabi for unknown reasons. 

We learned from informed sources that during an inspection at the police station security forces arrested Badr Hussein Al-Bahri and accompanied him to his home, where they searched the house and terrorize his children. They assign the boys and girls in separate rooms under the security men control. During the search, they confiscated passport of Badr and told to the family that the state security apparatus arrested Badr without explaining the reasons.

Case of Amer al-Shawa 

Dr. Amer al-Shawa, Turkish nationality, had arrived in Dubai on Thursday, October 2, 2014. His mother, of the eighty-year-old was waiting for him as well as his children waiting to see their father. 

The plane landed at around 6:30. However, Aamir did not get out of the airport. Despite the incessant question of family to airport police then police of barsha, they did not receive any information about his existence for a period of more than 34 hours where it was later the Turkish embassy staff to inform that he was transferred to Abu Dhabi. The UAE authorities for no apparent reason still to this day hold Amer. 

Amer al-Shawa, the father of three kids, including: Abu Bakr (14 years) and Afaf (17 years). According to his wife, Amal al-Shawa, in a letter addressed to human rights organizations and the Embassy of Turkey, "my children and I need to know the fate of Amer. The detention by this way is suspicious and out of the ordinary and what we know about the United Arab Emirates, where there is no reason for this act and this treatment." 

3.   Travel ban and refusal to renew passports

Article 29 of the UAE Constitution states that freedom of movement and residence is guaranteed to citizens within the limits of the law. However, in fact, the authorities do not prevent only opponents to travel but also their family members and their children.

We have been informed that since the arrest of the "UAE 94" group, Emirati authorities have taken arbitrary action against their kids and the children of the displaced and exiled dissidents outside the country. Among the cases that we have got at the ICJHR include: 

In January 2014, the security forces in the UAE kidnapped wife of Mohammed bin Saqr Al-Zaabi, and his child aged less than a year, to prevent them from traveling out of the country, within the collective punishment pursued by the UAE against political opponents, as Al- Zaabi is wanted by security forces. They arrest the wife and children and prevent them from traveling without any judicial decision, not a court ruling, and without informing them in advance of any travel ban or limitation of movement. The wife was kidnapped, at a border station between UAE and Oman to prevent her from travelling. Authorities have also banned his children from traveling outside the country and join their father and bring  the family together. 

In the same year, the UAE authorities refused to renew passports for the children of many other political detainees and those living abroad.  

These measures of prevention and refusal to renew the passport is a clear infraction of the tenth item of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the United Arab Emirates, where it states: "In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family. " 

As well as the second paragraph of this item: "A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards that end and in accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country, including their own, and to enter their own country. The right to leave any country shall be subject only to such restrictions as are prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Convention."

It is clear from the cases of travel bans received that the UAE did not honor the terms of the convention, and contributed to the separation of these families and hurting children and involved them in political issues with no income. 


The ICJHR calls upon the Committee on the Rights of the Child and all organization involved in child’s right to claim the UAE by: 

1-    Respect of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Constitution of the United Arab Emirates 

2-    Refrain from discrimination between the children based on the loyalty of their parents and political affiliations 

3-    give the rights of the Bedoons

4-    Respect the right of the detainee’s children to visit their parents and provide appropriate conditions that do not damage the psychology of the child 

5-    Respect Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ensure the right to information to the children of forcibly disappeared persons 

6-    Respect Article 10 of the Convention relating to family reunification and allow the children to travel to meet the parents 

7-    Accelerate the ratification of the Child Rights Act and to ensure the integrity and fairness of its application 

8-    Ensure compliance of domestic legislation with the principles and provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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