Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
06:03 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
17 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
HRW slams UAE for blocking rights news conference
Agence France Presse
Asian labourers work at the construction site of a new track for the Dubai Metro, on May 22, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI
Asian labourers work at the construction site of a new track for the Dubai Metro, on May 22, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI
A+ A-

DUBAI: Human Rights Watch hit out at the United Arab Emirates for preventing it from holding a news conference Thursday to release a report criticizing rights violations in the Gulf state.

"Blocking Human Rights Watch from holding a news conference in the UAE sadly underscores the increasing threat to freedom of expression in the country," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's chief for the Middle East and North Africa.

"If the UAE wants to call itself a global media centre, it needs to show that it respects freedom of speech and the open expression of critical ideas, not shut down media events," said Whitson.

The New York-based watchdog said it had booked a room a month ago at a Dubai hotel for Thursday's news conference, during which it was to release its 2014 report on rights abuses in the UAE.

But hotel staff informed the UAE early in the morning that the reservation had been cancelled, saying the watchdog had failed to obtain a special government permit to hold the conference, said HRW.

In the report seen by AFP, the watchdog accuses the UAE of having "stifled free expression, and subjected dissidents to manifestly unfair trials marred by credible allegations of torture" last year.

"Authorities are arbitrarily detaining scores of individuals they suspect of links to domestic and international Islamist groups," it said.

On Tuesday, a top UAE court jailed a group of 30 Emiratis and Egyptians to terms ranging from three months to five years for forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell.

The 10 Emirati citizens were among 69 nationals jailed in July for up to 15 years on charges of plotting to overthrow the government.

"The UAE's repressive laws and dysfunctional justice system belie the government's efforts to present the country as moderate and progressive," said Whitson.

The Gulf state has not seen any of the widespread pro-reform protests that have swept other Arab states, but authorities have boosted a crackdown on dissent and calls for democratic reform.

"The UAE might seem like a safe place to shop, do business, or take a winter holiday but it's becoming a very dangerous place to express a political opinion," said Whitson.

HRW also accused the UAE of failing to improve the rights of migrant workers.

In May, the UAE slapped deportation orders on 43 migrants who joined a rare strike by workers at the Arabtec construction giant to demand better pay and conditions.

Rights groups have repeatedly criticised the UAE and other Gulf countries for their treatment of millions of foreign workers, mostly Asians.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
United Arab Emirates
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
Human Rights Watch hit out at the United Arab Emirates for preventing it from holding a news conference Thursday to release a report criticizing rights violations in the Gulf state.

The New York-based watchdog said it had booked a room a month ago at a Dubai hotel for Thursday's news conference, during which it was to release its 2014 report on rights abuses in the UAE.

On Tuesday, a top UAE court jailed a group of 30 Emiratis and Egyptians to terms ranging from three months to five years for forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell.

HRW also accused the UAE of failing to improve the rights of migrant workers.
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS