FREEDOM HOUSE REPORT FINDS THAT THE UAE IS “NOT FREE”
Freedom House’s report, “Discarding Democracy: A Return to the Iron Fist”, revealed its findings to show that there had been a decline in global freedoms. The report is the organisation’s annual report which analyses political rights and civil liberties across the world. The report concluded that there had been an overall decline in its ninth consecutive year.
“Indeed, acceptance of democracy as the world’s dominant form of government—and of an international system built on democratic ideals—is under greater threat than at any point in the last 25 years.”
The report found that the ratings for the Middle East and North Africa were the worst in the world. On the UAE Freedom House noted that “little attention was paid to the systematic denial of rights for foreign workers”.
The Freedom House report gives countries a rating out of 7 – the United Arab Emirates scored 6. In 2014, the UAE had been awarded the same score of 6 for freedom, political rights and civil liberties.
The report also noted that Egypt scored 5.5 on the Freedom rating – notable given the UAE’s strong support of the Egyptian regime and the increasing political closeness of the two countries.
Other GCC countries also received poor ratings with Saudi Arabia receiving 7 and Bahrain 6.5.
The Freedom House report came in the wake of a report by Al-Bab which noted that the International Human Rights Rank Indicator league table had disappeared, after least year placing the UAE 12th in the world for its human rights record. Al-Bab reported that the IHHR is organised by the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) which has close links the UAE.
The Freedom House report is indeed further evidence of the lack of freedoms in the UAE and the continued constraint facing citizens as they call for their human and political rights to be respected.