Freedom House Condemns Attacks on Human Rights Defenders in UAE
The brutal crackdown on human rights defenders by security forces in United Arab Emirates (UAE), including the recent flood of arrests against advocates of reform, is a troubling sign of the deteriorating climate for freedom of expression. Freedom House renews calls for Emirati authorities to immediately address its worsening human rights situation and to cease all efforts to silence opposition through extralegal harassment and intimidation.
During the past two weeks law enforcement officials have intensified their assault on activists through a series of deportations, travel bans and unexplained detentions in a vigorous effort to stifle dissent. State security have carried out the majority of arrests in Dubai, Sharjah, and Ras Al-Khaimah, the most recent of which occurred on July 15 in Abu Dhabi when officials detained a number of human rights defenders on charges related to sedition.
Among those arrested to date are cyber activists, including blogger Ahmed Abd al-Khaleq of the stateless Bidun minority, members of the Reform organization Islah, as well as the President of the Emirates Center for Studies and Information, Dr. Mohamed Al-Mansoori.
The United Arab Emirates is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2011 and Freedom of the Press 2011.