Video: Boycott Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
If you are thinking about attending #DubaiLitFest, here are some realities you should know about the #UAE
• Despite the liberal image the UAE has abroad, freedoms of speech and the press are severely restricted.
• The festival is sponsored by the government-owned Emirates Airlines and “held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum”, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. As a high ranking government figure, Sheikh Maktoum is complicit in a myriad of systematic human rights violations which are carried out by the Emirati authorities.
• We are witnessing a systematic clampdown on human rights and freedom of expression in the UAE.
• Cybercrime laws allow authorities to monitor online activities and imprison anyone who criticises the government on social media.
• Laws enable courts to disband political associations and imprison their founders and members for a minimum of 10 years.
• Since 2011, hundreds of Emirati citizens have been detained for peacefully campaigning for adherence to international human rights laws and treaties.
• There are currently around 200 prisoners of conscience detained in the UAE.
• Human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have documented systematic cases of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and torture by UAE
• Women face constant discrimination especially in cases of rape. Discrimination on the basis of gender is not illegal in the UAE.
• ICFUAE encourages UK authors and illustrators to take a stand and speak out clearly in favour of human rights, free speech and democracy in the UAE.