Human Rights defenders and civil society in the United Arab Emirates
Geneva, 28 june 2016
On the occasion of the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council and of its side-event, COJEP and the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) held an interactive thematic panel discussion, on 23 June 2016, at the Palais des Nations, to call attention to the continuous violations of human rights in UAE.The primarily objective being to focus on the violations committed in 2015-2016 and to present the recent reports of CEDAW and CRC about the UAE, which exposed the situation of civil society inter alia.
The moderator Gianfranco Fattorini, introduced the event by recalling the situation of UAE in regard to the international instrument, as this Country hasn’t ratified the main international conventions yet. He also recalled what the Committee like CEDAW said about the situation of this country.
Ms. Safwa Aïssa, Executive director of the ICJHR got the floor explained the experience of the Centre to get information or to meet interlocutors on the ground. After her intervention a video about enforced disappearance was shown
Mr. Ahmed Mansoor, UAE human rights defender under travel ban intervened by skype to recall his own experience in his country and several legal situations cases highlighting how the government progressively intervened to silent any dissent.
Ms. Julia Legner, regional Legal Officer for the Gulf, Al-Karama Foundation told about restrictions of freedom of expression in UAE and recent cases of persons forcibly disappeared like bin Ghaith. She recalled the problems faced by victims like secret detention, incommunicado, physical and psychologicaltorture. she made several recommendations to the UAE Government as to ratify the two covenants
and the convention regarding persons in enforced disappearance.
Mr. Ahmed Alnuaimi, UAE human rights defender living abroad testified about his experience as a member of Al-Islah association. He reminded that problems started in 2012 after the petition for reforms and many associations were closed.