bannerHomeENbanner 01

Choose Language:

WEB POLL

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

HRC

Geneva on, July 9, 2018
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism for reviewing the human rights situation in all United Nations Member States. It is under the auspices of the Human Rights Council. Each State is subject to individual review every four years.
The report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on the human rights’ situation in the UAE was approved on 29 June 2018 containing 230 recommendations, 132 of which were accepted by the UAE authorities, while 98 others were noted.
While reviewing the 98 recommendations that were not supported by the UAE's authorities, the International Center for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) notes that the UAE government is not serious about putting an end to gross human rights violations in the country.


Accession to international instruments and optional protocols and lifting of reservations


The recommendations, that the Emirati government failed to accept, included the adherence and ratification of international covenants, notably the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the International Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the International Labor Organization Convention on Domestic Workers.
In addition, the UAE did not also lift the reservations to international conventions to which they have recently acceded, such as the Convention against Torture and the CEDAW Convention and they did not advocate the recommendations on the accession to the Optional Protocols.
It is well known that the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is an urgent request in order to set an international monitoring and accountability mechanism for the violations of public rights and freedoms.


The amendment of UAE legislation in order to be compatible with the relevant international standards


Among the recommendations that have not been supported by the UAE authorities is the amendment of Emirati federal laws in order to make them compatible with international standards. These legislations include the cyber-crimes Law, the Anti-Terrorism Law and the Penal Code, that were considered as a violation to the principle of the legitimacy of crimes and penalties and a restriction to the freedom of expression and violation of human rights, as stated in recommendations 141-123 and 141-125
In fact, the recommendations made by Canada, including recommendations 141-120 "to ban the restrictions imposed on the freedom of expression, criticizing the State officials and institutions, from these laws ..." were not accepted by the UAE, which proves their intention to further prosecute bloggers and activists who criticize the government and its officials.


Securing a safe environment for human rights defenders


During the universal periodic review of 2018, a number of countries noted that the UAE did not provide a safe environment for human rights defenders and that they were threatened and intimidated. Indeed, they recommend (141-130 and 141-131) to take the appropriate measures in order to ensure a safe environment for human rights defenders free from harassment and intimidation and to guarantee their enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression and association. However, these recommendations were among the 98 recommendations that the UAE failed to approve.


Cooperation with special procedures of the Human Rights Council


The Head of the Emirati Delegation claimed that his country will strive to strengthen its relations with all human rights mechanisms and invite the UN Special Rapporteurs on the relevant issues. However, the UAE failed to accept concrete recommendations No. 141-52 to 141-57 concerning the invitation of the Human Rights Council’s special procedures and the UN special rapporteurs and has only accepted the principle of cooperation with United Nations mechanisms and special procedures without defining the form or content of this cooperation.


Rights of detainees


Recommendations 141-140, 141-142 and 141-143 have put the emphasis on the necessity to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure and to establish a maximum limit for pre-trial detention as well as to immediately notify the defendants of the charges against them and to establish a central register of all detainees, in order to ensure that their families will have immediate access to their places and provide them with transparent proceedings and fair trial guarantees before an independent and impartial tribunal.
However, these recommendations were also not supported by the UAE as well as the recommendations on the release of all detainees convicted because of their political views and the cessation of putting them in secret detention centers and making them forcibly disappeared (Recommendation No. 126-141).
As for the recommendations accepted by the UAE, a total of 132 recommendations, most of which did not oblige Emirati authorities to take urgent actions but rather invited them, in a general and vague way, to continue to promote human rights or work on it or continue to improve the conditions of workers. It is worth mentioning that the UAE authorities have only noted an important set of recommendations that were clear and practical, while it is well known that the State is asked to implement the accepted recommendations, whereas it remains optional to implement other recommendations that were solely noted.
Besides, a number of recommendations have already been advocated by several countries during the 2013 UPR and have not been implemented by the UAE to date.
In view of the above, The International Center for Justice and Human Rights calls upon the UAE authorities to withdraw their reservations to the 98 recommendations they have not yet accepted and to immediately implement the recommendations made during the 2013 and 2013 UPRs by:
• Releasing all the detainees convicted because of their views and human rights activities and conduct a prompt investigation into the violations committed against them and hold the perpetrators accountable and enable the victims of their right to reparation and redress.
• Making Emirati legislations compatible with relevant international standards, ratify international human rights conventions and provide a safe environment for human rights defenders.
• Responding to the request of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council and allow the UN Special Rapporteurs to visit the UAE and Emirati detention centers in order to review the UAE's commitment to international standards and guaranteeing of the rights of detainees.