Freedom House reports on the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates increased its efforts to suppress political dissent, arresting a number of activists and imprisoning many without charge while deporting others. A highly restrictive cyber law gave the UAE authorities the power to crackdown on online criticism of the government and on activists using the internet or social media to organise demonstrations against its policies.
Political parties are banned in the UAE. The allocation of positions in the government is determined largely by tribal loyalties and economic power. Since 2011, the UAE has aggressively cracked down on suspected members of the Association for Reform and Guidance, or Al-Islah — a group formed in 1974 to peacefully advocate for democratic reform—including human rights activists, academics, and students—faced such an accusation in 2013.
Citizens are believed to constitute less than 20 % of the population. Noncitizens—including many expatriate minority groups—have limited opportunities for participation and representation in politics due to a highly restrictive internet law that punishes online activism and free expression; and the dismissal and deportation of academics who were who were critical of the government or its policies.
The report also sheds light on freedom of expression and belief, political pluralism and participation, associational and organizational rights, rule of law, personal autonomy and individual Rights in UAE.
* This report was first published in 2015