UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International makes the following recommendations to the United Arab Emirates:

UN human rights mechanisms
•    Cooperate fully with and accept all outstanding requests by UN Special Procedures to visit the UAE;
•    Ratify and implement all outstanding UN human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

 

The death penalty
•    Establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, as provided by UN General Assembly resolutions 62/149, 63/168 and 65/206, respectively adopted on 18 December 2007, 18 December 2008 and 21 December 2010;
•    Pending full abolition of the death penalty, abolish the death penalty for all crimes that do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes”, including for drug trafficking and for disclosing information that harms the state;
•    Pending full abolition of the death penalty, ensure that no death sentences are handed down to juvenile offenders.  Where the age of an accused young person is in doubt, the person should be presumed to be under the age of majority until and unless this is rebutted by the prosecution.

 

Discrimination
•    Amend the Constitution and other relevant legislation to ensure that all human rights may be enjoyed equally by non-citizens, in accordance with international human rights law;
•    Ensure that the provisions of the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers are fully integrated into national legislation and implemented in practice.

 

Restrictions on freedom of expression and right to a fair trial
•    Revoke or amend all laws that criminalize, or are used to criminalize, freedom of expression, in particular Articles 176 and 8 of the Penal Code, in order to bring them in line with guarantees of free speech in international human rights law;
•    Invite the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression to visit the UAE;
•    Ensure that all detainees are charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and receive a fair trial in accordance with international standards;
•    Amend the procedures of State Security trials to ensure that they meet international fair trial standards.

 

Restrictions on freedom of association
•    Review and, where necessary, repeal or amend existing laws which govern NGOs to bring these in line with international human rights standards, including amending Article 16 of the Law on Associations to ensure that NGOs can function free from state interference;
•    Invite the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to visit the UAE.

 

Threats to revoke citizenship
•    End any attempts to arbitrarily deprive political activists who have simply exercised the right to peaceful expression of their UAE citizenship.

 

Incommunicado detention and torture and other ill-treatment
•    Ensure that all allegations of torture or other ill-treatment are independently, promptly and thoroughly investigated, and that anyone found responsible for such abuses is brought to justice, and that this commitment is officially and publicly communicated to all officers involved in arrest, detention and interrogation, in particular those of the Amn al-Dawla;
•    Immediately end all incommunicado and secret detention;
•    Ensure that detainees have immediate access – in law and practice – to their lawyers and families, as well as to adequate medical care;
•    Ensure that detainees are brought promptly before a judge to rule on the lawfulness of their detention;
•    Establish and maintain a central register to ensure that all detainees can be promptly traced, and to bring appropriate sanctions against officers responsible for the unlawful detention of detainees, including failure to keep proper records of detainees;
•    Allow regular, unannounced and unrestricted inspections by independent national and international expert bodies to all places where people are, or may be, deprived of their liberty in order to monitor the treatment of detainees and their conditions of detention;
•    Ensure that detainees who lodge complaints about torture or other ill-treatment can do so without fear of reprisal or prosecution;
•    Invite the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit the UAE.

 

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United Arab Emirates: Amnesty International's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review