YEMEN Press Agency

HRW: Global Tolerance Summit cannot obliterate abuses in UAE

GULF, Oct. 14 (YPA) – The UAE is organizing the second session of the “Global Tolerance Summit” while activists are serving long prison sentences after unfair trials, and that this summit cannot obliterate violations, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization said.

The organization pointed out that “the Emirati authorities have launched a continuous campaign against freedom of expression and association since 2011.”

Vaguely worded and broadly interpreted provisions of the country’s penal code and other laws have been used to imprison peaceful critics, political opponents, and rights activists, HRW explained.

It noted that among those activists are Ahmed Mansour, an international award-winning human rights activist and member of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee, Mohammed Al-Roken, a university professor and human rights lawyer, and Nasser bin Ghaith, a prominent academic.

“Despite its assertions of tolerance, the UAE government has shown no real interest in improving its human rights record,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW.

“In order to prove that it is truly tolerant, the UAE should start by releasing all those who have been unjustly imprisoned because they did not adhere to the official line,” she added.

Whitson stressed, “The UAE cannot reliably promote itself as a tolerant country while men such as Ahmed Mansour, Nasser bin Ghaith and Muhammad al-Roken are behind bars.”