#DubaiLitFest Twitter action
On March 3-11, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature returns to Dubai. The Festival claims to be the “Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word”. Before attending, we encourage you to consider the context in which this “celebration” is taking place.
The festival is sponsored by Emirates Airline, a business that is wholly owned by the Dubai Government, a part of the UAE. Since 2011 the UAE government have arbitrarily detained hundreds of UAE citizens for peacefully campaigning for greater human rights and democratic reform within the country. Human rights organisations, including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, have documented regular cases of enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment perpetrated by UAE security forces. Freedoms of speech and the press are severely restricted. Women face constant discrimination. The law openly promotes homophobia and is heavily prejudiced against female rape victims. Migrant workers are systematically exploited and endure working conditions that have been described as “close to slavery”.
While UK citizens are accustomed to writing and speaking freely and criticising their government as they see fit, UAE citizens are routinely persecuted for exercising these same rights.
The International Campaign for Freedom in the United Arab Emirates (ICFUAE) urges you to take a stand and speak out clearly in favour of human rights and free speech in the UAE.
Please join our Twitter action tomorrow by donating a tweet or Facebook post on Thunderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/53869-speak-out-for-human-rights?locale=en