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UAE: Political Detainees Languish Behind Bars

World Tolerance Summit in Dubai Cannot Whitewash Abuses

Tuesday 12 November 2019


(Beirut, November 12, 2019) – The United Arab Emirates is hosting its second World Tolerance Summit as several activists are serving lengthy prison sentences following unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said today. The two-day conference on November 13 and 14, 2019 in Dubai under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE prime minister and the Dubai ruler, is part of UAE efforts to present itself as the “global capital of tolerance.”

UAE authorities have carried out a sustained assault on freedom of expression and association since 2011. They have employed vaguely worded and loosely interpreted provisions in the country’s penal code and other laws to imprison peaceful critics, political dissidents, and human rights activists. They include Ahmed Mansoor, an award winning human rights activist and member of the Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee; Mohammed al Roken, a university professor and human rights lawyer; and Nasser bin Ghaith, a prominent academic.

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