Geneva on June 19, 2015
Three non-governmental organizations, including the International Center for Justice and Human Rights, IRED and Solidarity for Human Rights, held a side event at Palais des Nations in Geneva on "human rights and the challenges facing the legal and judicial system in the United Arab Emirates" on Friday, June 19. There were interventions from Ms. Gabriela Knaul, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mr. Abdul Razak Al-Aradi, the brother of a detained Libyan-Canadian in the United Arab Emirates, Mrs. Khadija Namar from Al-karama and Mr. Dyke Drewery, representing Amnesty International's London branch.
In the beginning of the conference,Mr. Gianfranco Fattorini, Former Co-President of the Movement against Racism and for Friendship among People (MRAP) said that the UAE is a member of the Human Rights Council and has ratified several conventions as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. However, the United Arab Emirates hasn’t ratified the International covenant on civil and political, the International covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, the International convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families, and the International convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance.
presents her findings from UAE by distinguishing legal framework and the practice. The legal framework is fundamental to guarantee fair trial separation of powers is important to be in line with international standards.
Legal framework it’s important to recognize efforts made by states, positive achievements made. The federal system of UAE is complex to understand because of the relationship between local and federal levels and laws in different Emirates. In the UAE Constitution, there’s no guarantee of the separation of power. The intervention of the executive made the judicial system under control. Procedure of selection of prosecution is problematic; the current mechanism for appointing judges lacks transparency and may expose them to undue political pressure.
Non-nationals judgesThe non-nationals have temporary contracts so they are vulnerable and under pressure.
Arbitrary arrestMany people accused the State Security to arrest without warrant. The complaints don’t lead to appropriate investigations.
Women They can’t become federal judges, federal prosecutors or federal lawyer. There are two faces of gender discriminatory, attitudes and practices. It’s important for women to gain access to justice, and to claim their rights.
Prosecution servicesThey’re influenced by the executive and the State security services and they should be autonomous.
Lawyer Prosecution against them, lawyers who take up cases related to State security are harassed, threatened and under pressure. Lawyers should never be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes. It’s difficult to secure a lawyer in State security-related cases and many lawyers refuse such cases.
Testimony of Mr. Abdelrazek Al Aradi, Brother of Salim Al Aradi, one of UAE prisoners
Hetalks about his two brothers, specifically, Salim Alaradi, a Canadian citizen who is still detained in the United Arab Emirates. Salim’s health is deteriorating; he has been denied requests for medical care, a legal counsel, visitations and any communication with his family or the outside world. After seven months of silence, at this point the family has decided to undertake a public campaign for Salim and bring his case the United Nations.
Mrs. Radidja Nemar, Regional Legal Officer for the Gulf at Al Karama
She reviewed the cases they deal with, the complaints and many violations as torture, enforced disappearance or arbitrary detention. Two things are important, the UAE lack of consideration and its non-respect of human rights standards.
Mr. Drewery Dyke, Amnesty International Researcher working on the Middle East
He considered that the main feature of this regime is the culture of deny and secrecy. What the Country is hidden? Why banned people? There are many evidences of torture, showed by cases and complaints, but no investigation made by the authorities.