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Thursday, September 28, 2023

UN document: UAE keeps activist behind bars after sentence ends


GENEVA, June 2 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates has arbitrarily detained more than a dozen human rights activists who have served their sentences, a United Nations document showed on Friday, urging the government to release them immediately and allow them to seek compensation.

The document was published three weeks later relatives of prisoners More than 50 people sentenced for plotting to overthrow the UAE government remain behind bars for months or even years after their sentences have ended, say activists and rights activists.

The dissidents were part of the so-called “UAE94,” a group of 94 lawyers, activists and academics who were tried in 2013 and whose sentences in the UAE, the Middle East’s trade and tourism hub, are due to begin expiring in 2019 .

The UN document says 12 dissidents, whose multi-year sentences have all expired since July 2019, are being held “on discriminatory grounds” because they are human rights defenders and, based on their political or other views, tried to Request for an account from the authority”.

Their detention violates several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to an opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

“The appropriate remedy under international law is the immediate release of all 12 with an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations,” it said.

The UAE did not respond to comments within the 60-day deadline, the document said.

The UAE foreign ministry did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. UAE authorities have previously said allegations that prisoners were being held after serving their sentences were false and unfounded.

A list compiled by the UAE Detainee Advocacy Center (EDAC) and seen earlier by Reuters showed 51 people in extended detention in the UAE, which will host the COP28 climate conference in November.

Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Lisa Barrington

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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