Gulf human rights organisation denounces recent report against UAE

Report criticised UAE for arbitrary detention, discrimination against woman and use of torture.

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The International Gulf Organisation for Human Rights has denounced last week’s Human Rights Watch report on the UAE which made accusations against the country.

The report criticised the UAE’s policy on freedom of expression, arbitrary detention and discrimination against women and accused the state of regularly using torture.

Mansoor Lootah, the chairman of the organisation, said Human Rights Watch targeted the UAE because of ulterior motives and misconstrued information.

“Unfortunately, these motives and grounds are selfish and far away from the lofty human values founded by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and enshrined by the International Bill of Rights and Freedoms,” Mr Lootah said.

He added that the report’s claim that the UAE practises arbitrary detention was based on the assumption that such a method was used to stifle political cases, a claim he said was inaccurate.

Mr Lootah said that the criticism was unwarranted and had tarnished the report’s credibility and reliability.

He added that a claim in the report that the UAE limited freedom of expression with the implementation of the anti-terrorism act of last year was misinterpreted.

The law, he said, was a response to exceptional measures necessitated by recent developments in the region and by terrorist threats that undermine the security and stability of the UAE.

The report also accused the UAE of discrimination against women, pointing to the Personal Status Law, which Human Rights Watch said allowed discrimination against women and the practice of violence against them and breaching their rights.

Mr Lootah said the claims clearly highlighted the extent of Human Rights Watch’s targeting of the UAE, which he said, in some cases reached unusually high levels.

He said international reports overwhelmingly confirmed that Emiratis lived in one of the best global states for women, and they were granted opportunities and have rights and freedoms that put them in the forefront on a global level.

The UAE issues in the report have been discussed and clarified in many Human Rights Forums and other reports, he said, particularly the Official Report of the State and the shadow reports submitted to the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN.