The UAE authorities continue to arbitrarily detain citizens, human rights defenders and other activists who openly criticise the government or call for democratic reforms. There are currently 261 prisoners of conscience in jails in the UAE from 21 different nationalities.
Despite widespread complaints of torture being used in prisons and detention centres, the UAE authorities have consistently failed to investigate the allegations, in contravention of international law. Torture has been used to extract false confessions and to incriminate defendants.
Freedom of speech is heavily restricted in the UAE. Criticising the government or its allies and raising the lack of human rights are considered punishable offences. The press is censored and online content is highly monitored, as simple posts on social media can get you detained.
Citizenship revocation, travel bans, and deportations are used as a common tool to punish activists and their families. Revoking someone’s citizenship affects their ability to travel, to hold a job, open a bank account, and even go to school.