EU ignores UAE human rights abuses as they are welcomed into Schengen program
The UAE and the European Union have signed a visa waiver deal which allow travel to the European Union without the need for a visa.
This latest move has been described as a diplomatic coup for the United Arab Emirates. Indeed it is – the UAE’s welcome into the Schengen visa program adds to the UAE’s glossy image. Making travel between the EU and the UAE easier might be welcome news to tourists . But sadly it does little to comply with the European Union committment to human rights.
By admitting the UAE to the Schengen program the EU are ignoring the numerous concerns that have been raised about the country’s human rights abuses. In 2012 the EU passed a resolution in response to concerns raised by leading human rights organisations about alleged abuses. The resolution came in the wake of the UAE 94 trial which unfairly tried and imprisoned social activists and human rights campaigners.
The EU has stated that it has a strong commitment to human rights and is a priority of much of the EU’s work. Yet by signing this most recent visa waiver agreement the EU appear to be shirking their commitment to human rights in favour of better business opportunities between the EU and the UAE.
This latest development comes in the wake of continued abuses, such as the forced disappearance of the Suwaidi sisters who have been disappeared for nearly 3 months in contravention of international law, for what is presumed to be the “offence” of tweeting.
If the EU is to strengthen their relationship it is hoped they will use this opportunity to raise concerns about the human rights violations with the UAE.